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Frankford Civic supports SafeCam program

Frankford Civic Association members are hoping more and more residents and business owners who have security cameras make their surveillance recordings available to the police through the city’s SafeCam program.

The program began in April 2011. Those who register their security systems with police will be contacted by police only if a crime occurs in the vicinity of the registered camera. For information on SafeCam, visit http://safecam.phillypolice.com

Businesses can get a city tax break equal to 50 percent of their camera system costs if they sign up and follow certain conditions. Member Barbara Pippet said members are hoping City Council will extend that partial cost-covering benefit to residents who register their home systems with police.

Pete Specos, association president, said another anti-crime measure that has been successful in recent years is the gun-buyback program. Participants bring weapons to a designated site and exchange them for $50 gift cards.

“We have a tremendous gun problem in Frankford,” Specos said, and the buybacks held in years past through the 15th Police District Advisory Council have taken many off the streets.

The cost of the gift cards requires a sponsor, he said, and Specos said he has found one in the Boulevard Auto Group, once known as Barbera’s. He said the PDAC recently received a $2,500 check to finance the buyback. He said that all that needs to be arranged is a time and place. He is hoping the event will be scheduled for January or February.

Specos said the civic association, which has been meeting the first Thursday of the month at Aria Health’s Frankford campus, will change its session dates to first Wednesdays in the new year. The group will next meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7, in the hospital’s second-floor meeting room, 4900 Frankford Ave.

Coming up, Specos reminded members, is the 15th district’s Police Service Area 1 session at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 in the hospital. The 15th is divided into three PSAs, and PSA 1 covers Northwood and Frankford. The informal monthly session bring police and residents together to discuss area crime and crime-fighting strategies. ••

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