National Night Out, a nationwide awareness-raising event meant to bring attention to anti-crime efforts, was celebrated all over Philadelphia last week, on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
In Fishtown, neighbors gathered at Hetzell Field from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Neil Brecher of the River Wards Crime Watch, who helped organize the Night Out, said the RWCW is working on implementing a block captain program that will, hopefully, be a more sustainable model than existing ones, he said. The 26th police district PSA3 is the largest PSA, Police Service Area, of the district, and covers a bit of Northern Liberties, all of Fishtown, East Kensington and Olde Richmond.
“We’re looking to have people cover a smaller area of patrol, only a four-block radius,” Brecher said. “That way, you don’t have to spend hours patrolling. You could do four blocks in a commercial break.”
Brecher added that RWCW also wants to encourage people who walk their dogs to be “eyes and ears” in the neighborhood, since they are already out walking around. Citizen “eyes and ears,” he said, assist the overworked officers of the district in keeping an eye out for crime.
Most neighbors at the Night Out event waited in line to register their children with the New York Life’s Child ID Program, which links children’s information and addresses to the local police department in the case of an Amber Alert.
Neighbors at other Night Out events in the city could also register for the anti-burglary Operation ID and SafeCam programs.
Learn more about SafeCam at safecam.phillypolice.com, and Operation ID at blog.phillypolice.com/2012/10/operation-id-program-launching-today.
The biggest crime issue in Fishtown, Brecher said, is car break-ins. But all in all, he said, he truly feels Fishtown is a safe neighborhood.
In Port Richmond, neighbors met at The Home Depot, 2539 Castor Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m., to gather information from the Philadelphia Police Department’s 24th District officers, Port Richmond on Patrol and Civic, the Community Life Improvement Program, ADT Home Security, the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee, and more.
State Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) was also in attendance to meet with neighbors.
In Bridesburg, a group of local residents gathered at the Bridesburg Recreation Center, 4601 Richmond St. Philadelphia firefighters who were present from Engine 33 let children have a look inside a fire engine and answered questions. ••