Frankford Crime and Safety Coalition

This is from the Northeast Times dated May 24th.

Group takes aim at crime in Frankford

By Diane Villano-ProkopTimes Staff Writer

One of the first things the Frankford Crime and Safety Coalition wants to do is put the neighborhood in a different light — namely by turning on the lights on the El bridge along Frankford Avenue.Last week the coalition convened at Frankford Hospital for its second meeting, though the group — a sampling of civic leaders, legislative representatives and police — was much smaller than those in attendance at the debut session in March.The lights attached to the Market-Frankford El trestles were installed by SEPTA during reconstruction of the elevated rail line in the mid-’90s. The understanding was that the Frankford Business and Professional Association would change the lightbulbs, but these days only a light here and there shines down on the avenue.

Other short-term goals of the coalition include exploring what it would take to bring a police mini-station to Frankford and reinstating the Frankford Safety Ambassador program. The program — funded by Frankford Hospital until rising malpractice insurance premiums forced an end to that support — provided uniformed “ambassadors” who were a presence on Frankford Avenue, creating an air of safety along the business corridor. “The whole idea is visibility on the avenue,” said Catherine Bowers, executive director of the Frankford Group Ministry. “Crime was down forty percent (when the ambassadors were on the street). It’s presence.”

She also reported that the city’s 15th district curfew center, which recently opened at FGM’s Griscom Street headquarters to process young curfew violators rounded up by police, is running smoothly, averaging 11 to 12 kids a night. One parent was so impressed with the operation when her child was brought to the curfew center that she signed up as a volunteer, Bowers said.

The coalition also had discussed the crime-prevention use of surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. Liz McCollum-Nazaria, chief of staff for City Councilman Dan Savage (D-7th dist.), said she’ll have more information about the status of cameras in June.

The coalition members are making plans to meet on June 27. Others in attendance at last week’s meeting included Terry Tobin, executive director of the New Frankford Y; Tracy O’Drain, manager of economic development services for the Frankford Community Development Corporation; Frankford Business and Professional Association member Jim McCarthy; and Sgt. Scott Drissel of the 15th Police District. ••

Reporter Diane Villano-Prokop can be reached at 215-354-3036 or dvillano@phillynews.com

The issues discussed at this meeting are certainly important and it is good to see some organization taking place. My only complaint is that these groups seem to come out of nowhere. Who forms them and what is the history behind them. Why do we not hear more about them except reports of meetings that have already taken place.