A Philadelphia cheesesteak eatery has resumed operations, this time with security personnel carrying assault rifles, in response to the rising levels of violent crime in the City of Brotherly Love. A video captured during the reopening of Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies in West Philadelphia on Sunday depicts patrons queuing up to place their sandwich orders, all while being overseen by heavily armed security personnel.
The level of violence has sharply risen, remarked Cortez Johnson, one of the co-owners, when speaking to WPVI. This increase in violence has been particularly pronounced in the vicinity of the recently reopened food establishment.
“You want people to feel safe and be safe. So when they come out and eat, they don’t have to worry about no type of harm.”
According to WPVI, armed security personnel will maintain a vigilant presence outside the restaurant during its operational hours, which are from Thursday through Sunday every week.
“Our lines are down the block, so while you’re standing here in line, connecting with other people you may not know, we have security right here just to keep you guys safe,” Saul Landers, who holds the position of Chief Financial Officer at Jim’s West, informed the media outlet.
Kevon Darden, the proprietor of Presidential Protection Services, stated that the security personnel employed at the popular food establishment possess prior experience in the military, police, and law enforcement fields.
“It’s not just myself, it’s usually other agents who are sworn and certified by the state of Pennsylvania to do security work when they’re off duty.”
Certain patrons expressed their endorsement of the presence of well-armed guards overseeing the establishment.
According to the police, Philadelphia has witnessed a 20% decrease in homicides compared to the previous year, which had recorded the city’s second-highest murder rate after 2021. Nonetheless, city controller’s office data revealed that eight of these homicides occurred within a 10-block radius of Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies.
Historically, some of Philadelphia’s renowned cheesesteak establishments have been the backdrop for confrontations resulting in violence among customers. For instance, in 2021, a dispute between a Giants fan and an Eagles fan waiting at Pat’s King of Steaks during a football argument escalated into a tragic shooting incident.