Community Programs – Operation Fresh Start

In May 1998, Philadelphia’s 25th Police District set up barricades to block all entrances to a drug-infested North Philadelphia neighborhood some called the Badlands. Officers staffed the barricades to keep drug dealers out. From the small borough of Norristown, drug dealers and users would travel to the Badlands and buy illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, and transport them back to Norristown. Norristown officers who observed this operation thought that not only blocking the street but giving the entire street a facelift would grant the people a fresh start in their neighborhood and empower them to take their neighborhood back.