Northeast Times

Residents discuss neighborhood concerns at Police Service Area 1 meeting

Cigs, drugs and locked-up build­ings were the con­cerns res­id­ents brought to last week’s Po­lice Ser­vice Area 1 meet­ing at Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus.

Each dis­trict is di­vided in­to Po­lice Ser­vice Areas. PSA1 is the south­ern third of the 15th Dis­trict and in­cludes Frank­ford and North­wood.

PSA ses­sions are open to the pub­lic, and res­id­ents dir­ectly tell po­lice about crime prob­lems in their neigh­bor­hoods.

One res­id­ent told Of­ficer Heath­er An­drews she be­lieves some­body is go­ing in­to a large build­ing on the 4700 block of Ox­ford Av­en­ue that has been sealed by the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions.

“It looks closed, but it seems to have people in it,” the res­id­ent said. “Does it have a back door?”

An­drews said she would call the city’s none­mer­gency 311 num­ber to ask L&I to check to see if the build­ing at 4721 Ox­ford Ave. is prop­erly sealed.

In Decem­ber, po­lice said of­ficers had entered the club at that ad­dress that was ren­ted for private parties and found six weapons. The build­ing was re-por-ted to L&I, and the de-part-ment sealed the place.

L&I “ceased” the prop­erty, de­part­ment spokes­wo­man Re­becca Swan­son said in Decem­ber, “be­cause an il­leg­al nightclub was be­ing run there without prop­er zon­ing or li­censes.” 

L&I puts red-and-white striped signs on prop­er­ties it “ceases,” and that’s known as “candy-strip­ing.” A cease means the prop­erty can­not be used as a nightclub or any­thing else that ex­ceeds the cur­rent zon­ing, Swan­son stated in a Dec. 6 email to the North­east Times.

Cease or­ders are en­forced by the po­lice, not L&I, so if any­one sees any activ­ity that ap­pears to ex­ceed cur­rent zon­ing, the po­lice should be con­tac­ted, Swan­son had said.

Drugs are be­ing sold out­side on the 4800 block of Penn Street, res­id­ents told An­drews. Res­id­ents de­scribed the drug deal­er as a slender black man who is about 6 feet 2 inches tall and had a me­di­um com­plex­ion.

An­drews said nar­cot­ics de­tect­ives have made in­vest­ig­a­tions in the area, but ad­ded they don’t tell dis­trict po­lice about them un­til they’re ready to make ar­rests. 

Dis­trict po­lice also make nar­cot­ics ar­rests, she said, adding some have of­ficers have been “con­sist­ently mak­ing good drug ar­rests.”

A few oth­er ad­dresses were men­tioned, in­clud­ing the 4700 block of Griscom Street.

One res­id­ent asked if it is leg­al to sell loose ci­gar­ettes and said she knows a Frank­ford Av­en­ue store has been selling the out-of-pack smokes.

An­drews told her ci­gars may be sold sep­ar­ately, but not ci­gar­ettes.

The next PSA 1 meet­ing will be at 7 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Feb. 12, at Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus, 4900 Frank­ford Ave.  ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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