Squeak. Go ahead. Do it again.
You know the old saying: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
It’s true, and perhaps never more so than when it comes to reporting crimes on the city’s 911 system. Residents who call 911 see more cops in their neighborhoods, police commanders repeatedly have said.
Speaking to members of the 2nd Police District Advisory Council last week, Capt. Frank Palumbo, Sgt. Frank Barclay and Community Relations Officer Dianne Murphy all stressed how important it is to call 911 to report crimes. And keep calling, they said.
Every call gets logged. The Police Department knows where those calls originate.
Barclay told members at their Jan. 14 session at the Philadelphia Protestant Home that new cops coming out of the Police Academy get assigned to districts outside the Northeast.
“Because that’s where the 911 calls are,” he said.
Some members said they were reluctant to call 911 to tell dispatchers about what might be considered trifling matters, but Palumbo, Barclay and Murphy urged them to put those concerns aside.
“There’s no such thing as something you can’t call 911 about,” the captain said.
Over the past few years, police captains addressing Northeast community groups have stressed that calling in crimes, even suspicious behavior, helps police allocate manpower. Calls do get prioritized, officers have said, so they are not answered on a first-call-first-served basis.
Don’t assume, as some do, that somebody else already has called 911, police have said.
OFFICERS OF THE MONTH
Members honored Danielle Walsh and Ryan Laskowski as Officers of the Month for an arrest they made after they checked out a double-parked car on the 500 block of Carver Street in early September.
The two officers noticed a man coming out of a house they knew to be vacant and stopped him. Murphy said the man told the cops he had been working in the house, cleaning pipes. The officers detained the man and found his story didn’t check out, Murphy said. The man had numerous keys and lists of other vacant properties, Murphy said.
Inside the home, she continued, the two officers found copper pipes that had been removed. They arrested William Law, 35, who will go on trial next month on burglary and related charges.
Thieves can sell scrap copper, police have said, and that fact makes empty buildings attractive targets for them. They’ll steal copper water pipes, copper from air conditioning units and copper downspouts.
PDAC members learned of other crimes and police activities:
— A woman was attacked in her home on the 2100 block of St. Vincent Street by a man who came to her door to discuss his religious beliefs. When the woman told the man she was not interested, he punched her in face and walked away. Police describe him as a slender black man with a light complexion, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, and wearing a dark blue suit.
— The Wawa convenience store at Bustleton and the Boulevard has been robbed so many times in the wee morning hours that the company has decided to scrap its overnight shift indefinitely, Palumbo said.
The captain said he had officers stationed outside the place and the first day they were off, the store was robbed again. One member asked the captain if putting an undercover officer in the store could be considered, but the captain said such a move might unintentionally spark a gun battle in the store.
Palumbo suspects the robber is very familiar with what happens at the store.
“He lives close by,” the captain said of the robber. “We think it’s the same guy in all four incidents.”
— There is a group of hoodlums that have been responsible for a shooting, attempted carjacking, burglaries and other crimes in Lawncrest, Palumbo said. “The Lawncrest Boys” seem to operate in three blocks in all directions from the Lawncrest Recreation Center. “They do robberies, sell drugs, do shootings occasionally.”
Lynn Genetti, the PDAC’s chairwoman, said the organization’s Officers Appreciation Day barbecue will be held June 7 at the district at Harbison and Levick. She said the PDAC tentatively has moved its annual Community Day to Sept. 13. The event had been held in May, but Genetti said it often conflicted with Mayfair’s May Day.
The PDAC’s next meeting will be held 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave. ••