Capt. Jim Kimrey, commander of the 2nd Police District, held a town hall meeting Monday night at Max Myers Recreation Center.
Kimrey spoke at what would normally be the monthly meeting of Take Back Your Neighborhood.
The commander, on the job since December 2021, was joined by community relations officer Mark Mroz, victims assistance officer Danielle Walsh and crime analyst Padraic Feeney.
Others at the meeting included City Councilmen Jim Harrity and Anthony Phillips, state Reps. Jared Solomon and Anthony Bellmon and Council at-large candidates Sam Oropeza and Ogbonna Paul Hagins.
Kimrey said days off have been canceled for Sunday, when the Eagles will be playing in the NFC championship game. He joked that, if the Eagles win, all fans who would typically celebrate at the intersection of Cottman, Oxford and Rising Sun avenues in Burholme should instead go to Frankford and Cottman avenues, which is in the 15th district. Days off will be canceled for Feb. 12 if the Eagles make the Super Bowl.
Kimrey compared crime stats in the 2nd district from 2021 to 2022. There was a rise in murders from 12 to 23, though the 15th district had a whopping 41.
Crime was also up for stolen vehicles and commercial burglaries, though it dropped for residential burglaries, non-fatal shooting victims, narcotics, aggravated assaults and aggravated assaults with a gun.
Drugs, though, remain a concern.
“Narcotics and guns go together,” Kimrey said.
Among stolen autos last year, arrests were made in about one of 10 cases. Kimrey suggested that drivers invest in a “good old-fashioned Club.”
Walsh has reached out to local Kia and Hyundai dealers, as statistics show those cars made in 2021 or earlier are among the most stolen. Those cars made in 2022 or later have an immobilizer that often thwarts thieves.
Kimrey credited car man Gary Barbera for providing security to prevent his vehicles from having their catalytic converters stolen.
Mroz spoke of community engagement initiatives, such as Cocoa with a Cop and Operation Thanksgiving basket deliveries to crime victims and their families.
In general, Kimrey said many crimes are committed by repeat offenders, with the age of the lawbreakers seeming to be getting younger.
The 2nd has put an emphasis on curfew violators, and has a presence at dismissal at Northeast and Fels high schools and Woodrow Wilson Middle School.
The commander has visited every school in the district to gauge their needs, while some in the crowd complained that elementary school parents and their children jaywalk in heavy traffic at the beginning and end of the school day.
There are a half-dozen recreation centers with swimming pools in the 2nd, and officers on the school beat are stationed there in the summer.
If statistics show that crime is concentrated in a certain area, Kimrey won’t hesitate to assign a car there for 24 hours.
Kimrey described the officers in the 2nd district as a veteran crew.
The commander noted that graduates of the police academy are certified in Pennsylvania, and a good number of them choose to ultimately take jobs in the suburbs and other parts of the state.
The Philadelphia Police Department is recruiting. The starting salary is $59,795, along with a $2,000 sign-on bonus. Applicants must have a high school degree or equivalent and be 20 or older. The residency requirement is waived. Call 215-683-COPS or visit JoinPhillyPD.com. ••