“I’ve got twenty new cops and I put them on foot beats,” Capt. John McCloskey told members of the Frankford Civic Association at their meeting earlier this month.
McCloskey, the 15th Police District’s new commander, said the foot patrols will be walked in four-block grids, half during the day, half at night.
The district’s biggest problem area is its southern third, or Police Service Area 1, which includes Frankford, the captain said, where there are shootings, robberies and more.
Police recently raided an illegal speakeasy on the 4700 block of Oxford Ave. and caught a man with a sawed-off shotgun, he said. Guns and drugs were found in a shop on the 4800 block of Frankford Ave.
“We do spot checks on bars,” he said.
Police are cracking down on takeout businesses on residential blocks that stay open past the lawful 11 p.m. closing time because “they’re seen to be a hangout for kids and drug dealers,” the captain said.
McCloskey said prostitution arrests are up in the lower end of the district. He said officers who spot streetwalkers are giving each one warning to leave an area and then arresting them if they see them again. McCloskey said police recently arrested 27 to 30 prostitutes.
“A lot were men dressed up like women,” he said.
McCloskey told residents they will see more police, but stressed those officers need to hear from residents because they know their own neighborhoods best.
Officers are busy, he said.
“They fly from job to job. You know more about what’s going on out there than we do,” he said.
Pete Specos, the civic association’s president, said residents can keep police informed at monthly PSA meetings.
“We discuss the problems we have in our neighborhoods,” he said.
The next PSA1 meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the second-floor meeting room of the Aria Health’s Frankford campus, at 4900 Frankford Ave. ••
Reporter John Loftus can be reached at 215-354-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org