There was a good number at the PSA! meeting this month, especially considering how close it was to Christmas, about 20 people were in attendance. Unfortunately, the police were a no show. The problem was that transfer were announced earlier in the week for Lt. Casselli and the new Lt. Wood was scheduled to be off. PSA meetings are scheduled around the Lieutenant’s schedule so the next meeting should have the new Lt. show up.
In his absence, those present did discuss issues until 8PM. The next PSA1 meeting will be announced when it is posted on the 15th District’s web site.
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.
Lt. Casselli of the 15th District PSA 1
I attended the PSA1 meeting on Wednesday night. I was a little surprised that there were so many people there. In the past on a few occasions there were just a small number of folks. Wednesday there were 20 give or take.
Lt. Casselli and Officer Gorman were present. So as usual Casselli went around the room asking what each person had on their mind, the answer was the bar. Well not everyone but about 10 people were there with that issue.
So what bar are we talking about. It’s the old Irish Kitchen now resurrected as Elran’s Place at Pratt and Oakland. New name but the same old problems seem to be continuing.
You may remember the murder at the Irish Kitchen back in June of 2009. Then in May of this year there was another shooting.
The residents say that it is more of a night club than a bar with crowds taking their drinks out onto the sidewalks and partying keeping people up all night. The naturally leave their trash all over. This harkens back the the T&T bar on Margaret Street that had all of this going on until a young man was killed and the community had reached the end of its tolerance.
Casselli is a practical guy. As I type this I am sure he has been or is going over to Elran’s tonight to discuss the issue with whoever is on duty. But he is forthright in saying that it is more realistic to have the owner change how this place is run rather than having it shut down. So its going to be one or the other but the neighbors have had it.
At some point, the neighbors on the block may ask for community support in a march or some kind of peaceful action to focus attention of this problem. When they do, come out and support them. The next time it could be your block that needs help. We’ll keep you informed.
Attendance was a bit low last night at the PSA meeting but there was a lot to discuss regardless.
Pete Specos of 15th district PDAC (Police District Advisory Council) announced that there would be another gun buy back on May 7th at the Second Baptist Church at Mulberry and Meadow Streets. The last event was very successful with about 50 guns taken in. The offer incentive is a $50 Shop Rite gift certificate per gun or family. The event will run from 10AM till 2PM.
The PDAC will have its annual community day coinciding with the Mayfair Fair Day on May 14th from 10AM till 2PM. The PDAC will be set up on the 3500 block of Ryan Avenue, just off Frankford Avenue. Refreshments, exhibits and fun stuff for the kids all available.
Lt. Casselli, PSA Area 1
Lt. Casselli noted that thefts from autos are down since the beginning of the year which coincides with the campaign to make people in the area aware of the risks of leaving cars unlocked and with clues that valuables like gps or ipods might be within. Arrests were made and that was good news.
Further discussion of specific crime areas and strategies followed.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 24th. You can check the schedule at the 15th districts web site community meeting listing.