7th PDAC discusses new council regulations

A hero’s hon­or: Com­munity Re­la­tions Of­ficer Rich Si­mon (left) was named Of­ficer of the Month dur­ing the 7th PDAC meet­ing on Feb. 20. PDAC Chair­man Mike My­ers (cen­ter) and Capt. Joe Zaffino presen­ted the award.

There will be no more free lunches in the 7th Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil. From now on, there’s go­ing to be a little bit of work in­volved. Chair­man Mike My­ers de­livered that mes­sage to 7th PDAC mem­bers dur­ing the group’s meet­ing on Feb. 20 at CORA Ser­vices.

For years, the 7th PDAC has hos­ted monthly lunch meet­ings when lead­ers of vari­ous com­munity groups usu­ally dis­cuss crime-re­lated is­sues af­fect­ing the neigh­bor­hoods in the dis­trict. The dis­trict cov­ers Somer­ton, Bustleton, parts of Rhawn­hurst and Fox Chase, along with oth­er areas.

But the so­cial com­pon­ent of the ses­sions will be chan­ging a bit with the City­wide PDAC’s re­cent draft­ing of new bylaws, My­ers ex­plained. The City­wide group in part­ner­ship with the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment over­sees loc­al­ized PDACs based in the city’s 21 po­lice dis­tricts. Col­lect­ively, their mis­sion is to en­hance col­lab­or­a­tion between po­lice and the gen­er­al pub­lic.

In­form­ally, PDAC mem­bers are ex­pec­ted to take note of in­form­a­tion dis­cussed at the monthly meet­ings and to dis­sem­in­ate that in­form­a­tion among loc­al civic as­so­ci­ations, schools, busi­nesses and or­gan­iz­a­tions. Some mem­bers spread the word bet­ter than oth­ers.

Un­der the new reg­u­la­tions, every mem­ber will be re­quired to main­tain an act­ive role in PDAC pro­grams. The bylaws have yet to be rat­i­fied or made pub­lic, ac­cord­ing to My­ers.

“At the end of the (meet­ing) sea­son, the mem­bers who do not par­ti­cip­ate will be ter­min­ated,” My­ers said.

The “sea­son” runs from fall through the spring. The PDAC does not meet in the sum­mer. Its meet­ings are not pub­lic. Pro­spect­ive mem­bers must rep­res­ent an­oth­er com­munity-based group and must be ap­proved by the PDAC. Guests may at­tend meet­ings, but must be re­gistered in ad­vance.

My­ers out­lined a new list of com­mit­tee as­sign­ments that will al­low PDAC mem­bers to ful­fill their par­ti­cip­a­tion ob­lig­a­tion. There will be an ex­ec­ut­ive com­mit­tee as well as com­mit­tees for fun­drais­ing, pub­li­city, mem­ber­ship re­cruit­ment, po­lice re­la­tions, guest speak­ers/meet­ing loc­a­tions and pro­grams de­vel­op­ment.

In oth­er PDAC busi­ness:

• Capt. Joe Zaffino has been the com­mand­er of the 7th dis­trict for al­most sev­en years, but he at­ten­ded his fi­nal PDAC meet­ing. Zaffino left the po­lice force on Feb. 28 in ad­vance of his form­al re­tire­ment later this year.

Zaffino presen­ted his fi­nal Of­ficer of the Month award to the dis­trict’s long­time Com­munity Re­la­tions Of­ficer Rich Si­mon. The cap­tain cited Si­mon’s body of work over many years as jus­ti­fic­a­tion for the award. Si­mon has co­ordin­ated canned food drives, parties for dis­abled chil­dren and many oth­er com­munity events, of­ten on his own time. He reg­u­larly at­tends civic as­so­ci­ation meet­ings throughout the dis­trict, as well as the monthly cap­tain’s meet­ings and PSA meet­ings, which al­ways oc­cur at night.

Si­mon some­times or­gan­izes emer­gency com­munity meet­ings to ad­dress press­ing top­ics. He is also the dis­trict’s point per­son on the an­nu­al Na­tion­al Night Out.

Zaffino also had kind part­ing words for the PDAC.

“Every time I hear Deputy Com­mis­sion­er (Kev­in) Beth­el talk, he talks about what a strong PDAC you are,” Zaffino said. “So my hat’s off to you. Keep do­ing what you’re do­ing.” ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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