Stronger police presence throughout 15th District

Capt. John McCloskey is happy he’s got 30 more cops to patrol his busy 15th District, but he said he could be happier. The 15th’s commander said he could always use more manpower and more cars.

Speaking at a couple of public meetings in Frankford on Sept. 25, McCloskey said the added officers have helped cut down the time it takes officers to answer calls. In previous public sessions, he had said the district is so busy that shifts were starting many jobs behind.

That’s improving, he told members of Northeast EPIC Stakeholders at their session in the Second Baptist Church of Frankford and later at the Police Service Area I meeting at Aria Health’s Frankford campus.

“I got 30 cops … and I put them throughout the district,” McCloskey said during the EPIC meeting. He said he has put foot patrols on Frankford Avenue.

The 15th runs from the Delaware to the Boulevard between Hunting Park Avenue and Rhawn Street. It is a district with a lot of territory and has a lot of what nobody wants: murders, street robberies, drug dealing, burglaries and prostitution. The district frequently is in the news. The recent shooting of a teenager right outside her Wissinoming home was in the 15th. The recent murders of a pregnant woman and her child were in the district, too.

“I’ve had six homicides and 19 shooting victims in this area in just a few months,” the captain said.

McCloskey said there is a proposal to split the 15th into two districts. “They don’t have to do that,” he said. “They have to give me more cops and more cars. … I think this 15th District has been forgotten for a while.”

He said he recently got more cars, but they were old. “A couple broke down already,” the captain said.

Later, at the PSA 1 session, residents gave McCloskey more reasons they think the district needs even more manpower, and resident Veronica Daniel provided people with a simple form to give to the captain in which they could write the dates and locations of crimes they spot. Daniel also took notes about the issues brought up so neighbors can check with the captain about them at the Oct. 30 PSA 1 meeting.

Among those issues:

• Drug sales “are horrendous” on the 5000 block of Griscom Street, one neighbor said, and gave McCloskey the addresses she said are used by drug dealers. The captain said some narcotics arrests have been made already on that street.

• Another resident pointed to Griscom’s 4700 block, where, she said, a guy drives up in a black SVU early in the morning to sell drugs. She said the dealer keeps a good eye out for police and backs off and hides when he sees patrol cars. She said dealers go back and forth across the street to avoid detection.

• The neighborhood around Worth and Orthodox streets is still having drug problems, a resident said. She said that she has to pass drug dealers to catch a bus on the corner. Another said the drug dealers are out at 7:30 a.m.

• Joe Krause, president of the Northwood Civic Association, said he sees a lot of people who are hanging on Northwood Street, getting in and out of cars, engaging in drug sales.

• It’s not legal to sell cigarettes individually. “Loosies” should be reported to Licenses and Inspections, the captain said.

The next PSA 1 meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the second-floor lunchroom of Aria Health’s Frankford Campus, 4900 Frankford Ave. ••