Captain Frank Bachmayer, 15th police district, held a town hall meeting at St. Joachims Tuesday night. 30 people attended the one hour meeting to get the latest news on the crime situation in the neighborhood. As we have previously reported, overall crime is down in Frankford when compared with the same period in 2008. This change is attributable to changing tactics in combating crime. Violent crimes have shown the most decline with things like burglary being a more difficult situation to manage.
The issue of police response time was raised first. Response time is based on what is going on at that time and what priority the incident is compared with other calls in line. A disorderly crowd of teens will have a lower priority than a burglary or robbery. In addition, the implementation of the Police Service Area (PSA) pilot project may impact on response times because officers are now limited to answering calls within their assigned sector. Previously they were able to jump from sector to sector.
Several people raised specific questions about drug activity on their block. Those issues were noted and a followup was promised.
A question was raised on when should a person call 911 versus calling the district directly. If there is an immediate issue, regardless of what it may be, you should call 911. This includes what some may think of as minor problems like truant high school students. Call and let the police decide how to respond. If they do not respond right away, the call will still be logged and a record of it will exist. Call the district if you have an ongoing problem with a situation. Drug sales on a corner day after day or prostitutes making a nuisance of themselves would fall into that category.
Toward the end of the meeting one person noted that all of the issues raised were essentially about quality of life in Frankford. While the crime rate continues to decline, the relatively minor issues take on major importance to people who are thinking of moving here or others thinking about relocating. This was the best attended town hall meeting that I have seen. The folks there were aware, concerned and reasonable. They were not looking for miracles but they were looking for reasonable solutions. The group lingered for a good ten minutes after the meeting broke up talking together and exchanging information and experiences.