Nicholas DeBlasis is part of Philadelphia Police Department history.
DeBlasis and his three older brothers — Robert, Gary and Vince — are the only four siblings to serve in the department with their father at the same time. Vincent DeBlasis was a chief inspector under Commissioner John Timoney.
“It’s in our blood,” Nicholas DeBlasis said.
While Robert, Gary and Vince are retired, Nicholas remains in the department. A captain, he commands the 8th Police District, effective May 3.
DeBlasis, 46, grew up on Wessex Lane in Morrell Park. He is a graduate of Christ the King and Archbishop Ryan (class of 1993).
A 25-year department veteran, he entered the Police Academy in January 1996. A picture hanging on his office wall shows him, his three brothers and dad with then-Commissioner Richard Neal. He’s enjoyed his career.
“I love it,” he said.
Early in his career, he worked in the 24th Police District, on an East Division bicycle task force and a narcotics strike force and was detailed to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. He was promoted to sergeant in 2007, worked in Internal Affairs and promoted again to lieutenant in 2012 and captain in 2019. He worked in the Command Inspections Bureau.
DeBlasis is married with three children, ages 12 to 25, and lives in Jamison, Bucks County. He likes to hunt, fish and spend time with his family.
In the 8th, he succeeds Capt. Tim Linneman, on the job for less than 11 months until a transfer to the Police Bureau of Inquiry Charging Unit.
DeBlasis believes the 8th district is among the best of the 21 in the city. He sees support from business owners, stakeholders, elected officials and residents.
“The Northeast as a whole, especially the 8th, has an excellent working relationship between the police department and the community,” he said.
DeBlasis said police officers doing wrong are few and far between.
“It’s such a minute percentage,” he said. “We all signed up for the same reason, to help people and make a difference.”
Linneman was credited with cracking down on people — many from out of town — who came to Pennypack Park, near Frankford Avenue and Ashburner Street, and parked illegally, drank alcohol, smoked pot, swam illegally and left trash.
DeBlasis said he’ll have a focus on a variety of park issues, including underage drinking, curfew violations and the aforementioned problems. He’ll utilize mountain bikes and dirt bikes.
“We will have zero tolerance,” he said.
The new commander said three immediate issues are thefts from autos, stolen cars and the stealing of catalytic converters from vehicles. He urges drivers to park in well-lit areas and to lock their car doors.
Furthermore, he encourages neighbors to develop a buddy system, watching out for each other’s home and property when someone is away. Other recommendations are to turn on outside lights and to buy an affordable Ring doorbell camera to thwart package thefts.
There are increased police patrols at Philadelphia Mills following two recent shootings, including a homicide. An arrest was made in that case.
DeBlasis asks that people contact the district if they see playgrounds and recreation centers with graffiti, vandalized equipment and drug paraphernalia.
Now that more people are getting the coronavirus vaccine and the country is reopening, DeBlasis said the 8th will continue to reach out to residents.
“I’m looking forward to community events,” he said.
As an example, DeBlasis is organizing a Cops vs. Community wiffle ball tournament on July 16, at Liberty Bell Youth Organization. ••