Northeast Times

Congestion expected due to evacuation drill

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Usu­ally, traffic jams hap­pen without warn­ing, but here’s the rare alert:

The streets near the Nav­al In­vent­ory Con­trol de­pot at Levick Street and Ox­ford Av­en­ue are prob­ably go­ing to be jammed bey­ond ima­gin­a­tion some­time dur­ing the week of March 19.

The de­pot will con­duct an emer­gency evac­u­ation drill that week, po­lice said, and be­cause more than 6,000 people work at the fa­cil­ity, the odds that the ex­er­cise will crowd loc­al streets are pretty good. If you don’t want to get caught in the con­ges­tion, stay away from the neigh­bor­hood that week.

Mark Mroz, the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict’s com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer, an­nounced the drill at the Feb. 14 meet­ing of the dis­trict’s Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil.

The pur­pose of the drill is to see how long it would take to evac­u­ate the mil­it­ary fa­cil­ity, Mroz said dur­ing the PDAC ses­sion at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home. To keep the drill as real as pos­sible, he said, no spe­cif­ic dates or times have been an­nounced bey­ond that it will oc­cur some­time between Monday and Fri­day and last for more than 24 hours.

After the evac­u­ation, all em­ploy­ees will be sent home, Mroz said. Any­one re­turn­ing to work the fol­low­ing morn­ing will be sub­jec­ted to a se­cur­ity check, he ad­ded.

Also at the Feb. 14, meet­ing, mem­bers heard about loc­al crimes and honored four Of­ficers of the Month.

Lt. Tom Ma­cart­ney said burg­lar­ies re­main a big con­cern in the dis­trict.

“We have been mak­ing a lot of ar­rests, but there still is a lot of burg­lar­ies,” he said.

Po­lice have been mak­ing use of im­ages cap­tured by home cam­er­as. Many people have cam­er­as tied to their home com­puters, and some­times burg­lars and burg­lar­ies are re­cor­ded. He es­tim­ated more than 10 per­cent of the dis­trict’s res­id­ents have cam­er­as out­side their homes.

Po­lice are get­ting in­to the habit of look­ing for cam­er­as when in­vest­ig­at­ing crimes, he said.

On the street, new cell phones and iPhones are at­tract­ive tar­gets for rob­bers, the lieu­ten­ant said. Some phones have soft­ware in their phones that help po­lice track them down, he ad­ded.

Four 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict law­men were honored as Of­ficers of the Month for their quick work in ar­rest­ing a man they said took a shot at them.

Of­ficers Sean King, Daniel Loesch, Padra­ic Feeney and Kev­in Mc­Grorty were in an un­marked car at 12:44 a.m. on Jan. 21 on the 5600 block of Sum­mer­dale Ave. when they passed a man who was walk­ing away from his parked vehicle, Ma­cart­ney said.

As the of­ficers drove past Lester Mat­tox, 39, the man pulled out a black pis­tol, Ma­cart­ney said. One of the of­ficers saw the gun and yelled to the oth­ers that Mat­tox had a pis­tol. The un­marked car ac­cel­er­ated away, Ma­cart­ney said, and the of­ficers saw Mat­tox point his gun and fire one shot.

The of­ficers soon stopped their car, ra­di­oed for backup and went back after Mat­tox on foot, Ma­cart­ney said.

SWAT team mem­bers found Mat­tox in his res­id­ence on the 800 block of Brill St. about 20 minutes later and placed him un­der ar­rest after King, Feeney, Loesch and Mc­Grorty iden­ti­fied him.

Ma­cart­ney said Mat­tox told North­east de­tect­ives he had fired at the car be­cause he be­lieved it had been driv­en too close to him while he was walk­ing in the street. Ma­cart­ney said the man told po­lice where he had hid­den his gun, a 9mm Ber­etta, in a ceil­ing in his home and that he had flushed am­muni­tion down a toi­let.

Armed with a search war­rant, po­lice found the gun and the ammo, Ma­cart­ney said.

Mat­tox is a con­victed felon, and, there­fore, may not leg­ally own a fire­arm, Ma­cart­ney said. Mat­tox was charged with as­sault and weapons of­fenses. He is free on bail as he awaits a form­al ar­raign­ment.  •• 

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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