26th District PSA3 Town Hall Meeting

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 7:00pm

Please join the Philadelphia Police 26th District, RiverWards CrimeWatch, and the Fishtown Neighbors Association for a year in review of crime statistics in PSA3 for the 26th Police District.

The meeting will be held at:

First Presbyterian Church in Kensington
418 E. Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Church Phone: 215-739-5695

https://www.facebook.com/events/546760998752908/?source=1

Comments

Neilpuck's picture

Everyone please get the word out about this event. Distribute to any organizations you're affiliated with and post to other message boards you belong to. The better our attendance, the better the message that we care about the safety of our neighborhood. Reports are record lows overall for crime, especially violent crime. Come and support your neighbors and police district.

Trebor Sivad's picture

Neilpuck wrote:
Everyone please get the word out about this event. Distribute to any organizations you're affiliated with and post to other message boards you belong to. The better our attendance, the better the message that we care about the safety of our neighborhood. Reports are record lows overall for crime, especially violent crime. Come and support your neighbors and police district.

Yep, if nobody shows or there is a small turnout then the police will get the impression we don't care about the safety of our neighborhood. The town hall should be wall to wall.

A.J. Thomson's picture

I will be in attendance in official capacity and can update the community of some specific cases. Angel Flores, Chief of East Division for the DA's Office will also be coming.
I am assigned some of the cases discussed on the board for upcoming jury trials.

Jordan's picture

Hope to see everyone there!

Serious props to Captain Cram for taking such an interest in our neighborhood.

oldcomer55's picture

PS3 is over, its PS4 now.

Jordan's picture

Bump

Matt Benatar's picture

Potential problem: the 26th website has this listed at 2600 Aramingo, the Old Richmond Civic.
http://www.phillypolice.com/districts/26th
Edit: I called the 26th, and they confirmed Presbyterian as the site. They didn't know it was listed incorrectly online, and didn't know how to correct it because it's posted by someone downtown.

26th District's picture

Thank you to everyone that showed up tonight for the Town Hall and Year End Review. Great to see so many people that care about their neighborhood. Not just the people from PSA 3 but also the other residents of the 26th District that showed up. Hope everybody had their questions answered and enjoyed the presentation.

We saw some significant decreases for 2013 and hope to see more through 2014.

P/O James Coughlin #2628
for
Captain Michael Cram #3

michael.cunningham's picture

Sorry, I could not make it but your efforts are really appreciated.

Neilpuck's picture

Thanks to everyone who came out. We had about 50 attendees, and 7-8 representatives from the 26th District as well as Angel Flores and AJ Thomson from East Division of the DA's office were in attendance. If you missed the event, you can follow @rwcrimewatch and review the livetweet of the meeting. We have requested the powerpoint presentation to publish, but the 26th needed to get approval before we could do that. We'll alert you here to the posting once we have it. Also big thanks to Shawn Hyska and the First Presbyterian Church for hosting us and generously providing snacks for the evening.

Thanks again for everyone involved.

Lauraska's picture

I read the tweets. Thank you to whoever wrote them. I was shocked (not really) to see that one of the drug hotspots that persists in our larger area is the zone around the methadone clinic at 5th and Girard. Apparently, according to one of the tweets, drug related crime always goes up in areas around methadone clinics. Just some food for thought as we deal with the possible opening of a methadone clinic that is being relocated from just outside our neighborhood to right on our border.

sakirkla's picture

It was surprising to me as well, especially how much of a problem the methodone clinic was. I used to see people dealing pills when I took the trolly over to temple, but never to the extent implied by the slides in the presentation. They were saying, if I remember right, that every time they did stings in the area they were getting around 10 arrests per hour and simply didn't have the man power to sustain that.

Doesn't bode well for the new methodone clinic in our area.

phillybama's picture

Thanks for the tweets! I read them too.

Matt Benatar's picture

Yea, one takeaway was their surprise and hopeless outlook for the new clinic. They all but guaranteed an uptick of general badness.

2014 york's picture

Matt Benatar wrote:
Yea, one takeaway was their surprise and hopeless outlook for the new clinic. They all but guaranteed an uptick of general badness.

Did anyone ask them to express this to MQS? She does listen to them.

austen's picture

Kenzo wrote:
--- The DAs working specific cases in East Division (24th, 25th and 26th District) would definitely like to see more neighborhood residents coming up to testify directly in sentencing proceedings. Going to the CJC is often a pain and proceedings often get continued or delayed but it would be nice to have those people in the community who can reserve the time needed it would really help. The defendant’s family is usually always there for these court events and particularly at sentencing and judges don’t often get to see the other people in the community who are negatively impacted by what the defendant did. CrimeWatch will be trying this out when cases come up that DAs would like our participation on. If you were familiar with CeaseFirePA’s CourtWatch program for repeat gun offenders, this is the same thing but this would go beyond that. I’ve agreed to help out the DA’s office on a particular case coming up next month for an incident that occurred on Gaul Street. Most people are familiar with jury duty at the CJC but few do the sentencing phase were open testimony is permitted from the back gallery behind the bar; if others are interested in becoming dedicated “court watchers” please let me know.

I think if RWCW can link to upcoming cases for, say, the upcoming month, and let folks know that they can draft and send statements to the DA to be read at hearings, that will also go a long way, and was mentioned last night as well.

2014 york's picture

Anyone with any sense of the area could have predicted what happened with the SEPTA crackdown. It created a problem. Asking residents to constantly report on a created problem (or show up in court) is insane. We have better things to do with your lives and I don't appreciate being used as a tool in their social experiment.

HAZMAT's picture

2014 york wrote:
Anyone with any sense of the area could have predicted what happened with the SEPTA crackdown. It created a problem. Asking residents to constantly report on a created problem (or show up in court) is insane. We have better things to do with your lives and I don't appreciate being used as a tool in their social experiment.

I'm 100000000000% in agreement with this. I'm absolutely fed up with feeding the cops information and seeing no result. I'll be darned if you think I'm taking my life in my hands for your little experiment. To ask that is insane.

HAZMAT's picture

I now just sit back and watch the show.

Susquehanna's picture

2014 york wrote:
Anyone with any sense of the area could have predicted what happened with the SEPTA crackdown. It created a problem. Asking residents to constantly report on a created problem (or show up in court) is insane. We have better things to do with your lives and I don't appreciate being used as a tool in their social experiment.

being active and a tool isn't a burden for me. i did my part in cleaning up 13th st (whatever the want to call it these days - Midtown Village?) when i lived there. reporting crimes and going to court. everything from smash and grabs to riots. having dealer on my steps, in my lobby, breaking into the units. something had to change and it did.
i don't consider it insane. it's where i lived and i wanted it to be safe.
i've actively been contacting SEPTA to ask for their help. i appreciate the efforts.

2014 york's picture

Susquehanna wrote:
2014 york wrote:
Anyone with any sense of the area could have predicted what happened with the SEPTA crackdown. It created a problem. Asking residents to constantly report on a created problem (or show up in court) is insane. We have better things to do with your lives and I don't appreciate being used as a tool in their social experiment.

being active and a tool isn't a burden for me. i did my part in cleaning up 13th st (whatever the want to call it these days - Midtown Village?) when i lived there. reporting crimes and going to court. everything from smash and grabs to riots. having dealer on my steps, in my lobby, breaking into the units. something had to change and it did.
i don't consider it insane. it's where i lived and i wanted it to be safe.
i've actively been contacting SEPTA to ask for their help. i appreciate the efforts.

I'm all for working with the police to combat crime but, again, this was predictable and they were not prepared to deal with the aftermath of making a horrible decision. I don't have an answer to the problems around the Somerset stop but it's now a huge issue in East Kensington and much harder to control. Midtown Village (Gayborhood) was a completely different situation and not at all comparable. It was mostly a few blocks of 13th and the intersecting alley streets. The Heroin trade has taken over entire neighborhoods. Apples/Oranges

jbette01's picture

HAZMAT wrote:
2014 york wrote:
Anyone with any sense of the area could have predicted what happened with the SEPTA crackdown. It created a problem. Asking residents to constantly report on a created problem (or show up in court) is insane. We have better things to do with your lives and I don't appreciate being used as a tool in their social experiment.

I'm 100000000000% in agreement with this. I'm absolutely fed up with feeding the cops information and seeing no result. I'll be darned if you think I'm taking my life in my hands for your little experiment. To ask that is insane.

Usually when I just put my fingers in my ears and scream LALALALAICANTHEARYOU, that makes problems go away.

2014 york's picture

Pushing it out of EKNA to where? I'm serious. What neighborhood deserves Junkies and dealers. It's clear that pushing it out of Somerset caused the problem to grow and guess what....It's still a huge problem along Kensington Ave. Nobody is catching a break as the junkies still live there. They just have to travel a bit further to make a score.

upandup19125's picture

Keep in mind, this is all just part of the puzzle. Two buildings on the block of Dauphin near Front just went up for sale. The apartment complex there is rumored to be a tax delinquent investment property (aka first on the chopping block to be taken away when the new tax policies begin to be enforced). The hiding places for the dealers there are slowly but surely disappearing.

Avocado's Number's picture

Send all the junkies to Passages Malibu Addiction Treatment Center and be done with it.

2014 york's picture

jbette01 wrote:
HAZMAT wrote:
2014 york wrote:
Anyone with any sense of the area could have predicted what happened with the SEPTA crackdown. It created a problem. Asking residents to constantly report on a created problem (or show up in court) is insane. We have better things to do with your lives and I don't appreciate being used as a tool in their social experiment.

I'm 100000000000% in agreement with this. I'm absolutely fed up with feeding the cops information and seeing no result. I'll be darned if you think I'm taking my life in my hands for your little experiment. To ask that is insane.

Usually when I just put my fingers in my ears and scream LALALALAICANTHEARYOU, that makes problems go away.

Don't assume I'm not reporting the problem. I shouldn't have to is the point. You don't have to live here to see what's happening. Trust me when I say it's in our faces all day/night. See my FB post from last night. How many calls is enough? You have a false sense of power if you think constant reporting of drug dealing is any answer. How about constant foot patrols?

HAZMAT's picture

Episcopal hospital grounds are fenced and secured. I suggest housing all the junkies and dealers in there. A dope zone. Lock the gates and let the army patrols lose on whoever breaks out. Or a couple more methadone clinics. Whatever works for you.

Avocado's Number's picture

I was driving to a friend's house in West Philly the other day and I was staggered by the sheer number of cops on foot I saw. Just driving through there had to have been at least half a dozen. And this in an area that was pretty bad 10-15 years ago. Now that our area is responsible for a much larger slice of Philly's tax pie, I don't think it'd be unreasonable for us to begin to expect the same kinds of services as other sections of the city.

2014 york's picture

Hey 26th....if you read this. I've got a tip for you since you can't seem to see what is so blatant to the untrained eyes of a common citizen. The furniture store/barber shop/recording studio/weird food joint at the intersection of Front and Kensington. You know the one....Gorilla costume guy on the street is a lookout. HINT HINT

2014 york's picture

I get the point KENSO. I call and call and call. I talk directly with MQS and I talk with my neighbors about doing the same. We need a CONSTANT police presence that is actively patrolling to combat the issue. It's serious enough to warrant a proactive, not reactive response. It might help if L&I got serious as well. You know the house at the corner of Jasper and Arizona that we talked about just after the Buck fire. Just recently it got some yellow caution tape...progress.

jbette01's picture

2014 york wrote:
Don't assume I'm not reporting the problem. I shouldn't have to is the point. You don't have to live here to see what's happening. Trust me when I say it's in our faces all day/night. See my FB post from last night. How many calls is enough? You have a false sense of power if you think constant reporting of drug dealing is any answer. How about constant foot patrols?

I know you are proactive, it wasn't really directed at you. Your point - that you are doing what you are being asked without seeing improvement - is well taken. I agree that a 'push' is not the only answer as we have seen in this scenario.

With that said, I don't blame the 26th for cooperating. They are trying to do more with no more - and they aren't going to get any more. I know it's a terrifically unpopular opinion, but until we force the PPD to cut the crap with the overtime and abuse of hours, there will be no more bodies. Apparently I am the only one that sees a connection here.

-------

Butkovitz tells NBC10 the Police Department’s overtime in 2012 increased by $7 million over the year before.

“It’s zooming up to $64 million,” said Butkovitz.

According to Butkovitz, the problem stems from a lack of internal control on personnel and payroll procedures.

“There wasn’t even a line on the paper for the lieutenant or the supervisor to say they’ve looked at it and authorized the overtime,” said Butkovitz.
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/City-Controller-Philly-Police-Overtime-Is-Out-of-Control-193143711.html

2014 york's picture

Another Hint for the 26th. Eliot B Karol....Slumlord Extraordinaire. his tenants typically include addicts and dealers. Two of his properties in East kensington are constant problems. Take down his little realestate empire and you solve a ton of problems. I've reported it so this isn't news, just a reminder.

2014 york's picture

Kenzo wrote:
2014 york wrote:
Another Hint for the 26th. Eliot B Karol....Slumlord Extraordinaire. his tenants typically include addicts and dealers. Two of his properties in East kensington are constant problems. Take down his little realestate empire and you solve a ton of problems. I've reported it so this isn't news, just a reminder.

I believe the answer is yes and it's his name.

Does Karol use any LLCs/LPs?

2014 york's picture

I'm also pretty sure he was arrested for welfare or food stamp fraud....something along those lines. This is the info I got from MQS

26th District's picture

The 26th District will definitely look into the furniture store/etc at Front and York Streets. We have heard rumors that they are dealing before. If they are conducting drug sales inside we will have to have other Narcotics units come in to investigate. Our District Narcotics Team is trained for street level narcotics enforcement only, not indoor sales.

I personally think the coordination with SEPTA has been a homerun. I know that once Kensington and Somerset was targeted we were going to see displacement of sellers, users and prostitutes. That is why we have been targeting the area as well.

One of our goals brought up in the Town Hall meeting was to form a Crime Grid from Front St and Emerald to Lehigh Ave. A prior Crime Grid was created in PSA 1 and the numbers speak for themselves. If you have additional resources in an area you can make a difference.

We would love to have the Footbeats that some have seen in other districts throughout the city but that will probably never happen. In the grand scheme of things they go directly to districts with alot more violence than the 26th District.

Elliot Karrol... He is just one of many landlords in the area that rent to dealers and addicts. We know there are some issues there and we try and address them to L & I. If his tenants are buying or selling drugs we are going to do our best to arrest them.

Overall I think this is a great place to work. In most other districts you don't have this many people that care. When I see people getting upset on here its because you care. We will do our best to bring down crime and increase your quality of life.

P/O Jim Coughlin #2628

2014 york's picture

Might as well shout out to the dealers that opening a drug mall is the way to go. Keep it indoors and nobody will investigate. Thanks for the reply but I disagree with you on many levels...especially the lack of preparedness and response before and after operation Somerset. It's probably obvious that I'm not easily placated by nice words and reassurances. Not having junkies screaming from the sidewalks to their dealers windows at 3am would probably help. We had a nice little community park on Emerald that became a drug infested hell hole...I'd like that back.

What is sad is that the coordination between City agencies is horrendous. We have a PHA home on the corner of Emerald and Arizona that has been a drug den for years. Seems easy enough to handle. Elliots properties don't meet code and he steals utilities....crikets. Drug selling issues with any property should immediately start process to investigate through any and all means necessary. You have access to tools that are better than the court system but don't utilize them. I don't place all the blame directly on the 26th for this but someone needs to take responsibility for making the calls. I would imaging a call from the police would get a better response than some neighborhood guy/gal.

HAZMAT's picture

I'm again finding myself whole heartedly agreeing with you 2014.Creepy, I know. However your right in the fact that when a property becomes a problem it should be dealt with in any and all manners and avenues available. NOT waiting to build a RICO case for stupid dope peddlers...after months off begging for help one becomes exhausted.

Leo's picture

As a resident of the 26th, I appreciate good police work, and I am glad we have it.

Thank you, Officer Coughlin, Officer Correa, Captain Cram, and all the other officers of the 26th who're not only doing their job professionally and doing what they can to keep this neighborhood safe, but reaching out to us in the community.

2014 york's picture

Kenzo wrote:
FWIW I texted the SEPTA police chief and asked him to look at the concerns we have and if he could also come out to visit us.

He replied back in 22 seconds. This guy don't mess around.

You should probably coordinate a meeting with EKNA since it's the area most directly impacted. It's great that some folks on the other side of Frankford feel happy and safe. Not everyone in the 26th has it so lucky. This past Summer was the worst I've seen in the 9+ years I've been here. I'm not just ranting for the sake of ranting....it's a serious problem West of Coral St. I've put myself in dangerous situations several times trying to run junkies, dealers and prostitutes off my block and out of the Emerald Park. We even had a junkie camp in the Mega Lot most of the Summer. I think if you ask people actually living in or near the front lines you would get a completely different perspective....or does that not really matter?
Not directed at you KENSO

HAZMAT's picture

Hey 26th district if your looking at this please pop in on 2035 & 2024 E.hazzard sts. Two houses that started out with squatters and are now full blown dope dens. You remember those two overdose deaths and the recent murder that happened on this block. ... it wasn't over bubblegum.

Matt Benatar's picture

Kenzo wrote:
FWIW I texted the SEPTA police chief and asked him to look at the concerns we have and if he could also come out to visit us.

He replied back in 22 seconds. This guy don't mess around.

22 seconds? He was probably playing Candy Crush and taking a dump. What ever happened to playing it cool?

HAZMAT's picture

They are both death traps, I'm tired of reporting them. The squatters will only duck tape the problem and L&I will close the ticket.