Communities, law enforcement team up

Street celebrations: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (above), along with police, firefighters and community members celebrated National Night Out on Aug. 2, at several locations in the Northeast. The annual event promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood safety. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

A youth baseball team accepted championship certificates from a state representative. A city councilman and the police commissioner passed out gifts of appreciation to Town Watch volunteers. The mayor stooped to chat a shyish boy who had his arm in a cast.

Public officials gave some major face time to folks in communities throughout the Northeast during commemorations of the 33rd annual National Night Out on Aug. 2.

“It’s a terrific, diverse neighborhood with ethnic diversity, gender diversity, racial diversity and age diversity. This is people getting together to help their neighbors. That’s what the Northeast is about and we want to keep it that way,” said Mayor Jim Kenney during one of three major local gatherings.

Kenney and Police Commissioner Richard Ross joined many local leaders including Councilman Bobby Henon, state Rep. Mike Driscoll, state Sen. John Sabatina and 15th district Police Capt. Anthony Luca for a vendor fair at Russo Park in Holmesburg. Several hundred area residents gathered in the park following a mini-parade on Torresdale Avenue, from Rhawn Street to Cottman Avenue. Chickie’s & Pete’s owner Pete Ciarrocchi was the grand marshal, leading a line of motorcyclists, classic car enthusiasts, police, firefighters and community organizations in the march. The primary purpose of the party was to reinforce relationships between police and neighbors.

“Last week, Philadelphia was on the international stage, the national stage and the local stage. And we shined,” Driscoll said. “That’s because of the men and women in blue. So thank you (residents) for showing up and showing your support. It’s all about partnerships, friendships and safety.”

Ross said that citizens play a vital role in public safety by reporting trouble to authorities.

“We can’t thank you enough for all you do to keep your communities safe,” Ross said.

Henon presented awards to Joe Nicoletti and his daughter Gina, along with Ronniw Newton, all of whom volunteer for Tacony and Holmesburg Town Watch. In turn, Nicoletti thanked Luca and Community Relations Officer Matt Crosson of the 15th district, who help coordinate Town Watch activities.

A few miles to the north, several hundred people congregated at the 8th Police District for their National Night Out fair, while to the south and west, about 500 gathered at Fox Chase Elementary School.

State Rep. Ed Neilson used the 8th district event to recognize the Torresdale Boys Club 10-under baseball team that won the city’s Department of Recreation league this year. Coaches John Curry and Tyler Wade mentored a squad of 13 boys.

State Rep. Martina White greeted constituents, while aides to U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, Sabatina and Councilman Brian O’Neill passed out information about government services. DJ Harry Taylor of Millennium Entertainment provided music, while youngsters like Luke Curry and Kamora Sutton, both 8, got to sit on Officer Dan Richardson’s police motorcycles.

Public safety “is a partnership between the community and police,” said Capt. Adam Friedman, commander of the 8th district. “A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to put this together.”

State Rep. Kevin Boyle’s staff partnered with the Fox Chase Town Watch to organize the National Night Out event for the 2nd and 7th police districts. City Councilman Al Taubenberger, Controller Alan Butkovitz and Kevin Boyle recognized longtime Fox Chase Town Watch President Steve Phillips for his years of service to the community. ••

Police, firefighters and community members celebrated National Night Out on Aug. 2, at several locations in the Northeast. The annual event promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood safety. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

Police, firefighters and community members celebrated National Night Out on Aug. 2, at several locations in the Northeast. The annual event promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood safety. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO