Daily News columnist John Baer didn’t set foot inside the monthly 7th Police District Advisory Council meeting Oct. 17, but his words resonated with council members, thanks to state Rep. John Sabatina.
As the primary guest speaker for the event, Sabatina recited Baer’s Oct. 16 commentary in its entirety, presenting it as a call to action for PDAC members to spread a message of civic engagement to their less-active neighbors.
Baer’s column, “Our problems? They’re our fault,” assigns blame for the failing Congress, legislature and public schools far beyond the elected and appointed leaders of those institutions. The article also blames a largely disengaged and self-centered populace.
“In this, the greater fault is broad-based, escalating and belongs to us all,” Baer wrote. “We are increasingly disconnected.”
Citing research by authorities on public opinion, technology and journalism, the columnist discussed how people are distracted by “multimedia, cultural influences emphasizing egocentric living, polarizing governance and growing economic classism fostering separation.”
Sabatina, a Rhawnhurst native who next year is expected to battle fellow House member Ed Neilson in the Democratic primary for the newly re-mapped 174th district, agreed with Baer’s analysis and called upon PDAC members to get their neighbors more involved in community groups.
“I think we need to do more because just caring about what’s going on is not enough,” Sabatina said. “We have to encourage other people to care. We have to pump other people up to come and join us. … Bring a neighbor [to a meeting]. Do outreach. Make an effort to get other people to care as much as we do.”
Sabatina joined aides for state Reps. Brendan Boyle and Kevin Boyle, state Sens. Mike Stack and Tina Tartaglione and City Councilman Brian O’Neill in presenting legislative citations to the 7th district’s two Officers of the Month, Ernest Green and Paul Hartigan. PDAC Vice Chairwoman Greta Kleyman awarded the officers plaques on behalf of TD Bank. Inspector Michael Cochrane and Capt. Joseph Zaffino also took part in the ceremony.
Green and Hartigan nabbed a bank robber red-handed as he tried to hold up the Citizens Bank inside the Acme at 1970 Red Lion Road on Sept. 3. The officers responded to the store just before noon after a bank employee triggered a silent alarm.
The robber had handed a demand note to a teller indicating he had a gun and ordering the teller to place cash into a plastic bag.
The officers immediately spotted the suspect at the teller station and ordered him to lay down on the floor. He instead began to walk away. Green tackled the robber as Hartigan provided cover for his partner. The officers handcuffed the struggling suspect, then recovered the demand note from the teller.
Authorities later charged the same man with another robbery of the Wawa at 10900 Bustleton Ave. about one week earlier.
In an unrelated investigation, Community Relations Officer Rich Simon said that police are investigating a flashing incident that occurred on Aug. 28 on the 6500 block of Castor Ave., in the 2nd Police District.
A 26-year-old woman was walking along the street when a man in a green minivan pulled up beside her and exposed himself. The woman screamed and ran away. The flasher was further described as a man in his 30s with a blue shirt and jeans. Police did not specify the man’s skin color or physical build.
Simon announced that the district will host a Town Hall meeting on Nov. 19, at Walker Lodge, at 6 p.m. ••