FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Regarding today’s Philly Clout column about Dilworth Park, we thank the Daily News for highlighting a point of confusion created by one of our policies that we have immediately rectified. We also want to take this opportunity to outline our overall approach.
As in all public spaces, everyone can photograph, videotape or film at any time in Dilworth Park. When individuals enter the park with heavier equipment, props, tripods lighting, etc., CCD Community Service Representatives (CSRs) ask those individuals for more information if they are not obvious members of the press. This is in response to what has become an increasingly common experience as Dilworth has become an ever more popular place: advertising agencies, commercial film companies, for-profit companies doing product launches, advertising shoots and other activities blocking public spaces in the park. To address this, we have set up a permitting process in concert with the city’s Managing Director’s office, modeled on the same process the city’s Department of Parks uses in all public parks: phila.gov/ParksandRecreation/programsandactivities/Applications/Media%20Application.pdf
If our staff isn’t sure how to respond, they are directed to call their supervisor. Apparently when the Temple students arrived, one of our employees acted contrary to our policy. Telling students that they had to leave was an inappropriate response. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.
Immediately after we learned the full facts of the situation, all of our CSRs who patrol the park were briefed at their daily roll calls. They have been reminded that while it is their responsibility to ask individuals setting up camera equipment in the park whether they have made arrangements to film in advance, they should call for a manager and take no further action if any individuals identify themselves as news media or students, or object in any way.
A typical workday for our Dilworth Park CSRs includes giving directions to locals and tourists, taking photos of visitors when asked, administering first aid to minor cuts and bruises, ensuring that young children are safe while playing in the fountain in the summer, and maintaining safe spaces for pedestrians. Sometimes they are required to make judgment calls and call in to their supervisors if they are uncertain. In this case, one of our staff acted inappropriately. We have taken appropriate steps to minimize the likelihood that it happens again.
The Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Find us at www.centercityphila.org and on Facebook and Twitter.