It should come as no great shock that a shockingly high percentage of Northeast residents surveyed for a recent poll by Pew Charitable Trusts think Philadelphia has changed for the worse in the last five years.
Whatever the reasons — changing demographics, rotten delivery of city services, inept city officials, a struggling economy, malaise, etc. — many longtime residents think the Northeast is going downhill fast. That’s the perception, and perception often is reality.
Though nothing is more horrific than the recent murders in Tacony of the owner of a Chinese restaurant and a man who had confronted a neighbor to complain about dog waste, vandalism that has hit slightly north, in Mayfair and Holmesburg, is troubling as well.
Tires on about two dozen cars have been slashed in the last 10 days, and another two dozen cars were damaged with spray paint earlier this month. The economic cost indubitably is great, but so is the cost to the sense of well-being that folks in the Great Northeast used to have.
Police have made no arrests in the tire slashings, but perhaps they need some encouragement from their boss. Residents should call Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey at his downtown office in Police Headquarters — 215–686–3149 — to tell the good chief that he must dispatch enough patrol cars to saturate the affected areas with police coverage.
Remember, though, that while police love to catch the bad guys, they can’t do it all, and they can’t be everywhere. They need your help. Look out your window. Join Town Watch. Be nosy. Be very nosy.
This is no time to sit on your hands. ••
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