Don’t tell us what you can’t do; tell what is going to be done!!!
There was a good crowd at the PSA1 meeting this week. Lt. Wood started off with a recap of the major crime that has occurred. There have been 3 shootings with one fatality in PSA1 since last meeting. In PSA1 in the previous 30 days there were 453 car stops, 500 pedestrian stops, 24 drug arrests, 1 home invasion and 3 robberies.
In response to resident complaints, an officer has been present on the block for a significant part of the day (8 hours). The informal basketball court set up has been removed in order to discourage loitering. However, the residents of the 4700 block of Griscom Street have seen the worst of it and still want change. It was on their block that the homicide took place this month. They are, in some ways, held hostage to drug dealers and those who come to buy from them.
Philadelphia police narcotics officers have made arrests but as Lt. Wood says, that is much like arresting the guy behind the counter at McDonald’s. Unless you close down the store, the owner will just hire somebody else to work the counter.
That is informative but does not solve the problem. Drugs are pervasive in the city and they are not on every corner so why do the residents of the 4700 block of Griscom have to live with them. The residents say that the drug salesmen are well aware of what time the officer on the block goes off duty and return as soon as he is gone. They suggest that the police might better use of the surveillance camera on the corner as a deterrent.
It’s not just that block that they terrorize, it has a spill over effect. It rolls down to Frankford Avenue and up to Penn. All it takes is one stray shot from one of these folks to hit an innocent child and then we will find out what a tragedy looks like. The residents will continue to press for a resolution to this problem.
On a positive note, there have been no complaints about the intersection of Foulkrod and Frankford for the last two PSA meetings. That was the hot spot earlier this year and the police have made significant strides in controlling crime in that area. Unfortunately it was not in time to prevent the Earn Center from relocating to a location outside of Frankford.
The next PSA1 meeting is July 25th at 7PM at Aria Health. All are encouraged to attend.