Neighbors urged to join Normandy ‘eyes and ears’

Philadelphia Operation Town Watch organizer Ronald Ryan says he has been spending a lot of time in the southern end of the 15th Police District lately, trying to beef up community involvement in the Northeast’s most crime-challenged neighborhoods.

But he also wants to boost Town Watch participation in Far Northeast neighborhoods like Normandy, where folks could also boost their own quality of life.

During the bimonthly meeting of the Normandy Civic Association on April 4, Ryan asked residents to consider joining an “eyes and ears” branch of the citywide Town Watch program. If a few people want to join, Ryan said he would set up a training session that would take as little as 60 to 75 minutes. Participants would become certified Town Watch members.

Unlike traditional Town Watch that involves neighborhood patrols, eyes and ears volunteers need not leave the comfort of their own homes. They are merely expected to peer out their windows every so often and report any suspicious activity they see to police.

The police department can’t assign an officer to sit on every block. So without input from residents, police can miss a lot of what goes on day to day. But if residents make it a habit to call 911 when they see something suspicious, there will be a record. And the police department uses 911 call data to determine where it should deploy more patrol cops.

Members of the Normandy Civic Association can get involved in Town Watch by contacting the group through its private Facebook page. Non-members can get more information by going to the “Normandy Civic Assn. Events” page on Facebook.

The civic association discussed several other agenda items during its April 4 meeting.

Firefighter Mike Whalen of Engine 22 distributed home fire safety checklists to members and reported that the fire department tests fire hydrants annually to assess their serviceability.

State Sen. John Sabatina invited folks to his free document shredding event on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to noon at his 12361 Academy Road office in the Parkwood Shopping Center.

On May 13, the civic association will host a beef-and-beer fundraiser at Union Tap (the former Paddy Whacks) at Comly Road and Roosevelt Boulevard. Tickets cost $30 and include buffet, desserts, draft beer, wine, gift basket raffles and 50/50 raffle.

Another civic association fundraiser will be on Saturday, June 24, when the group will host designer bag bingo at the Norcom Community Center, 10980 Norcom Road, from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and include bingo, door prizes, a 50/50 and gift basket raffles, along with pizza, snacks and soft drinks.

Email to NormandyCivic@gmail.com or visit the NCA Events page on Facebook for information.

The civic association will next meet on Thursday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at the Norcom Community Center. It will be the final meeting until September. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.