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. ••