The Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association has written to Mayor Jim Kenney, angered by the transfer of Capt. James Kimrey, commander of the 2nd Police District.
Kimrey was popular among groups in the district, developing a reputation as a workaholic who arrived on the job early in the morning and stayed late at evening meetings until returning to his South Philadelphia home. Residents were eager to hear crime stats throughout the district.
The letter was signed by Pamela Baranackie, acting treasurer, and Robert Rudnitsky, zoning chairman.
“For the last 13 months our community has been fortunate to have the steady, involved presence of Capt. James Kimrey at the 2nd District,” it said.
The group is unhappy that it heard about the transfer “through the grapevine,” and that no announcement to the community was made.
“The decision to transfer him does not promote good community involvement. He just conducted a ‘Captain’s Town Hall’ on January 30, 2023 at our neighborhood meeting which lasted two hours and had 75 attendees who were fully engaged with the police in general and the captain in particular, trying to brainstorm ideas to help the neighborhood,” the letter said.
The letter went on to say that Kimrey built local trust and relationships in his 13 months with businesses, individuals, community groups and politicians.
“That was no small feat considering the ‘defund the police’ environment which currently prevails,” the letter said.
The letter noted that nobody asked the community what it needed or wanted.
“Most of the time you hear stories in the news that neighborhoods want their police hierarchy ousted – we’re the opposite!” it read.
The letter asked Kenney to return Kimrey to the 2nd due to his skills and interpersonal abilities. ••