The Northeast EPIC Stakeholders met on Thursday, September 25th at Second Baptist Church.
First off was Jamie Fader, Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Temple. She has been making the rounds of community meetings in Frankford, trying to get to know the neighborhood. She explained that her interest is a study project that she will conduct in Frankford. She wants to make contact with men aged 25 to 24 for an interview. It is a long term study but participants will be compensated with a $50 gift card for the interview. Referrals will be compensated with a $24 gift card. If you are interested in participating in the study or would like more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215.870.2821.
Captain McCloskey of the 15th police district, spoke to the group about the increase in violence over the last two months. There have been 6 homicides and 19 shootings during that time period. He said the 30 new cops assigned to the district have already helped in reducing the job backlog. He has used some of them to start up foot patrols again on Frankford Avenue in problem areas. He also said that he needs and additional 15 to 20 new officers and some cars to put them in to get the crime situation district wide under control.
He brought up an interesting issue that he has encountered in his work. Returning offenders have a very difficult time finding work even in the best of economic times and these are not the best. Some of these people turn back to the drug trade because they have no other way of making money. He proposes that it might make sense for the government to provide incentives for employers to hire these folks to give them a chance to stay straight.
Lt. Tony Burton, head of PSA1 in the 15th district, took the opportunity of finding a group of teenaged males in the audience to go one on one with some of them to get their questions about whatever was on their mind. At first they were reluctant to talk but Burton got them going and talked about the issues related to the police and the youth of the community.
Once again the culinary crew of the Second Baptist provided a delicious dinner.
The next EPIC meeting will be on Thursday October 30th at Second Baptist Church at 1801 Meadow Street.