New 24th District commanding officer introduced

Capt. Daniel O’Con­nor eager to work with the com­munity to com­bat crime.

Capt. Daniel O’Con­nor, the 24th Dis­trict’s new com­mand­ing of­ficer, speaks to the com­munity at a town hall meet­ing on Tues­day, Feb. 18. CAR­O­LAN DI­FIORE / STAR PHOTO

Loc­al res­id­ents were in­tro­duced to Capt. Daniel O’Con­nor, the new com­mand­ing of­ficer of the 24th Po­lice Dis­trict, at a town hall meet­ing last Tues­day, Feb. 18. 

O’Con­nor, a 24-year vet­er­an of the Phil­adelphia po­lice force, ad­dressed an audi­ence of about 50 people who came out to wel­come him and voice their con­cerns about the neigh­bor­hood. 

O’Con­nor offered tips on how to pre­vent crime in the area. 

In one of his open­ing state­ments, O’Con­nor said that in the past week, 10 cars were stolen. Four of those vehicles, he said, had been left run­ning. He ad­vised people to be vi­gil­ant and leave their cars locked even if they were run­ning in­to their house for a few minutes.

“Every­one drove here, so every­one has a car,” O’Con­nor said in an in­ter­view fol­low­ing the meet­ing. “I thought that would be a good way to re­late to every­one in the audi­ence.”  

Crime pre­ven­tion is at the top of O’Con­nor’s pri­or­ity list, he said. 

He hopes to edu­cate the gen­er­al pub­lic on how to re­duce the amount of vi­ol­ent crime in the area.

“Even if it’s something as simple as put­ting an in­form­at­ive fli­er in a store win­dow, it’s out there.”  

Com­munity mem­bers were ex­cited to see what the new cap­tain had in store for the neigh­bor­hood. 

“I like him,” Vince An­drews, 52, of Ju­ni­ata Park, said. “He shows a lot of prom­ise.”

An­drews also com­men­ted on his abil­ity to con­nect with and help solve the is­sues and prob­lems of the com­munity.

“He strikes me as a cop that won’t give you lip ser­vice,” he said. 

Edna Ro­jas, of Lower Kens­ing­ton, who at­ten­ded the meet­ing with her son, Mala­chi So­lomon, also ex­pressed an op­tim­ist­ic re­ac­tion to the new cap­tain. 

“I think he had a lot of good ideas to pre­vent crime,” Ro­jas said. “He can help people to not be afraid any­more.”

O’Con­nor was pro­moted to the rank of cap­tain on Jan. 31. 

His job will in­clude an ar­ray of du­ties, ran­ging from over­see­ing em­ploy­ees and com­ing up with crime fight­ing strategies to ad­min­is­trat­ive du­ties and train­ing. 

“This is something I’ve al­ways wanted to do,” said O’Con­nor, who grew up in South­w­est Phil­adelphia and now resides in Roxbor­ough with his wife and four chil­dren. 

Also in at­tend­ance was state Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.), who com­men­ded the new cap­tain and wished him well.

“We are cer­tainly glad to have him,” Taylor said. “We can’t sur­vive without him.”

O’Con­nor has had a di­verse back­ground in law en­force­ment be­fore land­ing his cur­rent title. 

He is a gradu­ate of North­west­ern Uni­versity’s Cen­ter for Pub­lic Safety School of Po­lice Staff and Com­mand and Pennsylvania State Uni­versity’s Po­lice Su­per­vis­ory In-Ser­vice Train­ing and Po­lice Ex­ec­ut­ive Lead­er­ship pro­grams. 

Since join­ing the force in 1990, O’Con­nor served in roles ran­ging from high­way patrol ser­geant to lieu­ten­ant in the 9th Dis­trict. 

O’Con­nor ex­pressed a will­ing­ness to work dir­ectly with neigh­bors to pre­vent vi­ol­ent crime.

“I’m not the kind of guy who sits be­hind a desk and moves pawns,” he said. “I don’t want people liv­ing in fear.”

The next town hall meet­ing is sched­uled for Tues­day, March 18, at 6 p.m. at the 24th Dis­trict, loc­ated at 3901 Whi­taker Ave. ••

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