Northeast Times

Residents tell captain of drugs, prostitution

About 40 Frank­ford and North­wood res­id­ents turned out last week to tell their po­lice dis­trict com­mand­er about crime in their neigh­bor­hoods.

They had plenty to say. So did Capt. John Mc­Clo­s­key, the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict’s top cop.

The cap­tain kicked off the June 26 meet­ing with res­id­ents of the dis­trict’s south­ern third, Po­lice Ser­vice Area 1, with some gen­er­al in­form­a­tion.

Crime is down, but shoot­ings are up, he said. He said there is a pros­ti­tu­tion prob­lem in the area, es­pe­cially after 3 a.m. 

A con­tin­gent of res­id­ents who live around Worth and Or­tho­dox streets, which is east of Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue, told the cap­tain about open drug sales in their neigh­bor­hood and about vi­ol­ence.

One wo­man said a bul­let came through a win­dow on her street.

“Nobody seems to care about us,” she said.

The cap­tain said he has put a nar­cot­ics team in the area to break up the drug sales.

An­oth­er wo­man said she sees pre­scrip­tion drugs be­ing sold. Mc­Clo­s­key noted that some people get those drugs le­git­im­ately and then il­leg­ally sell them on the streets. They then re­port them stolen so they can try to get the pre­scrip­tions re­filled.

A Trenton Av­en­ue res­id­ent com­plained about pros­ti­tu­tion on her street.

Mc­Clo­s­key said of­ficers are sup­posed to give pros­ti­tutes sum­mary cita­tions, but he said he has in­struc­ted his of­ficers to keep them in the dis­trict’s cell room for sev­er­al hours to keep them from re­turn­ing to the streets.

He asked the res­id­ent when she sees pros­ti­tutes on her block. The res­id­ent said they are seen in the morn­ing, but are more pre­val­ent in the night.

“I will make sure we have patrols in that area,” the cap­tain said. “I didn’t know there was that much activ­ity on that block.”

A res­id­ent of the 4700 block of Griscom re­por­ted drug activ­ity, which she said had eased off for a while, is on the up­swing.

“It was get­ting bet­ter, but they [drug deal­ers] are com­ing back there,” she said. 

The res­id­ent ad­ded that she sees a lot of people go­ing and com­ing on the block, which is between Ox­ford Av­en­ue and Ar­rott Street. She said she sees a lot of activ­ity com­ing out of a couple prop­er­ties.

Joe Krause, pres­id­ent of the North­wood Civic As­so­ci­ation, and Tom McA­voy, the group’s vice pres­id­ent, told Mc­Clo­s­key about drug sales and pros­ti­tu­tion in their neigh­bor­hood.

Drug buy­ers park on North­wood Street, Krause said, and wait in their cars un­til drug deal­ers show up. This hap­pens between 10 and 11 a.m., he said.

The cap­tain said he is aware of the com­plaints about pros­ti­tu­tion and has of­ficers work­ing the area. 

One East Frank­ford res­id­ent said she had re­por­ted a loc­al ad­dress to the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions be­cause she be­lieves cars are be­ing re­paired or chopped there. She said the own­er of the busi­ness later called and threatened her.

Later, she told the cap­tain, a bloody rag was put on her front step.

Mc­Clo­s­key said of­ficers will go to the area and write down vehicle iden­ti­fic­a­tion num­bers and check if they are stolen. If the cars are stolen, the people who have them are go­ing to be locked up, the cap­tain said.

Jac­queline Coelho, the as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney in charge of North­east Phil­adelphia, en­cour­aged res­id­ents to at­tend tri­als and sen­ten­cings. “We are try­ing to get com­munity in­put,” she said. 

People have con­cerns about the crim­in­als in their neigh­bor­hoods, she said. “We want to ex­press these con­cerns to the judges who sen­tence these guys,” she said.

The next meet­ing of cops and res­id­ents of the 15th Dis­trict’s Po­lice Ser­vice Area 1 will be on Thursday, Ju­ly 24, at 7 p.m. in the second-floor con­fer­ence room of Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus, 4900 Frank­ford Ave. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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