Lt. Derrick Wood
It was a good meeting on Wednesday night with the first appearance of Lt. Derrick Wood who took over from Lt. Casselli last month. It was Lt. Wood’s first PSA meeting, so time was spent in getting to know those in attendance and their problems.
The issue of drug sales at Foulkrod Street and Frankford Avenue has been an ongoing concern. The problem of a crack house on Foulkrod just off the Avenue was also addressed. It has come up at previous meetings and has been investigated by Officer Heather Andrews with L&I who says that they cannot do anything about it because it is occupied. There is an abundance of synthetic marijuana being sold in stores along Frankford Avenue. It’s not clear whether this stuff is legal or not.
The next PSA1 meeting date will be announced pending a decision on whether it can be combined with one of the other civic meetings. That would give more citizens the opportunity to meet the police in person.
There were only a few people at the PSA meeting last night but it was productive nonetheless. Lt. Casselli and Officer Andrews presided and gave some updates on recent events.
The proposal to combine the PSA meeting with the EPIC or Civic is complicated by the fact that Lt. wants to attend and his shift schedule does not always allow an evening meeting time. It was agreed though that it would be good to experiment with it when the schedule allows since it would provide more residents the opportunity to meet and talk to him.
Complaints about the ad hoc flea market on Torresdale Avenue causing traffic problems continue.
Officer Andrews has been working with the owners of Elrans bar. The owner has been cooperative and is working with the police in making some management changes that would make the bar safe and more neighborhood friendly establishment. Lt. Casselli pointed out though that ongoing resident participation is crucial. The residents who came out to the meeting about Elrans two months ago are now absent. The police will never be able to be everywhere. Resident participation is needed.
A tip passed to the police at the last meeting lead to arrests of three individuals at the house on the corner of Foulkrod and Leiper Streets for drug activity.
The next PSA1 meeting is scheduled for December 21st at Aria Health, Frankford.
Lt. Casselli and Officer Andrews lead the PSA meeting this week at Aria Health in the cafeteria. There were several areas of interest this month.
- Elran’s Place located at Oakland and Pratt Streets was the subject of much discussion last month. Since that time there was another shooting outside the bar. The owner, Eliezer Torres has been meeting with Officer Andrews on ways to improve the situation at the bar. Only three residents of the area attended the meeting but they made their views know on the problems the bar has been causing. Mr. Torres pledged that the residents will see a big improvement in the situation starting this weekend. In regard to the recent shooting, his cooperation with the police lead to the arrest of the suspect.
- There are reports from several people of drug sales out of a house in Frankford. The police have had previous reports on this location and are investigating.
The PSA meetings are only effective when residents attend them. As Casselli frequently points out, the police cannot solve these problems on their own. You have to come out to these meetings to have any chance of making it work.
I attended the PSA (come meet the cops who patrol your neighborhood) meeting tonight at Aria Health. The crowd was small which is great since it indicates great progress has been made on the crime front.
Now if you just read that and said to yourself, is he crazy, then I have to ask why weren’t you at that meeting tonight to do something to solve the problem. It is as simple as that.
The new lieutenant in PSA 1 is Robert Casselli. He is looking for feedback from the community through these meetings. He will go around the room and ask each person what is on their mind. You get the opportunity to tell the police what is going on in your area. These guys always impress me with how much they do know. They don’t live here but they do know the area. There was talk tonight of an illegal activity taking place in an alley next to a store down the street from another place. Sergeant Revel says sure I’ve been down there lots of times, alley runs from x to y.
Lt. Robert Casselli, Officer Heather Andrews, Sgt. Al Revel
Where they need help is the specifics. If somebody is selling drugs on your block and you want it to stop, come and tell them. If the corner store is open all night attracting low life characters, let them know. Nobody knows your neighborhood like you.
I talked to Al Mitchell who lives down around Fillmore and Tackawanna. I have been listening to him at these meetings for the last year. He tells it like it is. It’s getting better. Big problems have become smaller. You have to stay on top of things but being involved in the process has made a difference.
Living in Frankford is not for bystanders. If you want to do it, you have to get involved. Just don’t complain and sit on your hands.
The next PSA 1 meeting will be on Tuesday, February 16th. You can check the 15th district web site for a complete schedule of community meetings here. For other police related news including the wanted list check it out here.
And if you want a more graphical view of the crime picture than what is offered on the PPD web site, take a look at spotcrime.com.