The PSA1 meeting is usually held at Aria Hospital on the last Thursday of the month at 7 PM. It had been mentioned during the December meeting that moving it to Bridesburg would bring out more folks from Bridesburg who hesitate to come to Frankford. In truth, parking is harder around the hospital. It was decided to try this idea at the January meeting. The meeting for February 25 would be held at the Bridesburg Boys and Girls Club. This would also be a Captain’s Town Hall meeting as Captain McCloskey would be attending.
For those of you unfamiliar with the PSA1 meeting, this is an opportunity to meet directly with the 15th District Police to discuss your concerns and hear what the police are doing in the community.
You know that while Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, we tend to stay within our own boundaries. But soon you realize that the concerns we share are the same. Over 40 people attended the meeting.
We heard about the lack of police presence and how long it takes for officers to respond to 911 calls, fights in front of bars where patrons are told to go home by the police but come right back or are there the next night again, for sure, and parents’ concerns walking kids home from school passing cars where the oldest and, probably, first business is being conducted in parked cars. Squatters in homes, illegal parking, drug dealers scurrying inside when police are near but boldly outside again once the coast is clear continues. Cars going way too fast in the neighborhoods and people wonder why nothing ever changes.
These meetings can get heated and people want to make phone calls and protest and that will get attention. But does that only work for the short term? The attention span of the news media is even quicker than ours moving on to the next “big” story.
So, great ideas are born and take shape. Let us be real – the 15th Police District is the largest geographically in the city and it has the most crime. Maybe those two facts are related but either way, we know our problems won’t get better left alone. What can we do to support the 15th Police District and its officers? Bill Lorch of Bridesburg, Veronica Daniel of Frankford and myself, Pat Smiley, suggested we involve all of our stakeholders in a larger meeting. Let’s see if PSA2 and PSA3 are interested in working together. Let’s invite our community and elected officials to work on real strategies and solutions to our problems. It seems we talk and tell our concerns but never get to real resolution. What will that take? All of us working together. Before leaving, those gathered shared their contact information for future follow-up.
State Representative John Taylor was there that night and he was scheduled to meet with Mayor Kenney on Friday, 2/26, in the afternoon. We drafted a letter in time for him to deliver it personally to the Mayor. Letters were also written and mailed on Friday to State Senator Tina Tartaglione, State Representative Jason Dawkins, City Councilman Bobby Henon, City Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sanchez and Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
We know the power of the Frankford Gazette. If anyone from PSA2 and PSA3 is reading this, please reach out to us. We have calls in to contact you.
We’re sharing our letter because we want you to be a part of this, too. If you would like to read it, click here. We’re convinced, like our Founders’ were, that the power lies with the people but we must use it. Our power lies in our united voices. We will keep you posted.