Cops are supposed to look around. When they see somebody else doing it, he gets their attention.
Akeem Blackwell, 18, drew the notice of two 2nd Police District patrolmen on March 21. Officers Anthony Glaviano and Christopher McCue saw a man dressed in black checking out properties on the 1300 block of Knorr Street that night, said Dianne Murphy, the district’s community relations officer.
The man in black turned out to be Blackwell, Murphy last week told members of the 2nd Police District Advisory Council, who honored McCue and Glaviano as their March Officers of the Month.
Murphy said Blackwell tried to get into a house through a back door. The home’s resident was inside and called police, she said, and saw Glaviano and McCue already on the scene and chasing the intruder. The officers soon had Blackwell in custody.
That’s the kind of work done by active officers who keep their eyes open, the Northeast police division’s new boss, Inspector Benjamin Naish, told PDAC members May 13.
Blackwell has a May 28 date at the Criminal Justice Center, according to online court records. He was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and related offenses. He made bail on March 24, but was arrested again on April 30 in relation to a Sept. 16 incident. He was charged with receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and theft by unlawful taking. He’s been free on bail since May 3. A formal arraignment is set for June 5.
Naish and the 2nd’s commander, Capt. Frank Palumbo, said the district has gotten the unfortunate distinction of having a large number of homicides this year.
Among the fatal shootings have been triple- and double-murders. There have been several nonfatal shootings, too, the captain said, including an incident in which a 12-year-old was shot.
The shootings were not random acts, the captain said. In a May 15 phone interview, the captain said the several homicides do not appear to be connected.
The captain has put a beat cop, Carmen Davis, on the 5900 and 6000 blocks of Rising Sun Avenue. Two motorcycle cops will report to Sgt. Frank Barclay, Palumbo said during the PDAC meeting.
Barclay, the district’s tactical officer, has been working with patrol officers to get weapons off the street, the captain said. Officers working in and around Lawncrest have developed information sources that have helped them make arrests that involved six or seven guns and “a whole lot of heroin.”
Heroin overdoses are a problem, “a continuing problem,” Naish said. “We probably have the purest heroin in the country in Philadelphia,” Barclay said.
“The number of overdoses is up significantly,” the inspector said. “There are a lot of sudden deaths.”
A few PDAC members told the officers about problem bars in their neighborhoods, and Naish told them to call 911 to report those nuisances.
People should advise their neighbors to call 911, he added, “and keep calling.” ••