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New commander in the 2nd

Lt. Mike Long, Northeast Detectives; Capt. Scott DiDonato, new commander of the 2nd Police District; and Mark Mroz, 2nd district community relations officer.

The new commander of the 2nd Police District spent his first day on the job at the Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting.

Capt. Scott DiDonato was recently promoted to captain and replaced Capt. Marc Metellus, who now commands the Police Athletic League.

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DiDonato attended St. Cecilia Elementary School and graduated from St. Martin of Tours. He attended Cardinal Dougherty for a year before spending his final three years of high school at Northeast (class of 1993).

He has spent 21 years with the police department and was a narcotics agent for the state attorney general’s office. He worked for seven years in the 6th district, and became a sergeant in 2010 and was assigned to the 35th district and the narcotics strike force. He was a lieutenant for 10 years, assigned to the 14th district. He’s also worked in highway patrol and in the narcotics field unit.

DiDonato was joined by community relations officer Mark Mroz, who said all eight victims of the recent shooting at a bus stop at 7300 Rising Sun Ave. were Northeast High students who lived in Lawncrest. As a result of the shooting, Lawncrest residents attending Northeast will be able to stay on the same bus to and from school without having to get off on Rising Sun.

Lt. Mike Long, of Northeast Detectives, was also at the meeting. He became a police officer in 2004 and formerly worked in the 2nd district. Now that it’s spring, Long said residents should be careful about leaving windows open. He said video cameras are helpful when it comes to investigating home burglaries.

In other news from the March 18 meeting:

• State Rep. Jared Solomon was scheduled to discuss his campaign for attorney general and briefly mentioned the race, but sensed the crowd was more interested in hearing about quality-of-life issues, so answered questions on that topic.

• Every Murder Is Real Healing Center, a nonprofit based at 59 E. Haines St. in Germantown, aids victims of violent crimes and surviving family members of homicides. The center is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The center is named in memory of Emir Greene, a 1997 murder victim. Call 215-848-4068 or visit emirphilly.org.

• There will be a “Save Castor Ave.” meeting on Saturday, March 30, from 9-11 a.m. at 6434-36 Castor Ave. Take Back Your Neighborhood opposes a plan to convert Castor Avenue from two-way traffic in each direction to one way, from Oxford Circle to Cottman Avenue. Concrete barriers would be constructed in the middle of the road. Solomon and PennDOT and SEPTA officials will be on hand. Parking is available behind the building. For more information, call TBYN president/zoning chairman Robert Rudnitsky at 215-432-4875.

• The Campaign for Working Families offers free tax preparation at PATH, 1919 Cottman Ave., for people making less than $66,000 a year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. Call 215-454-6483 or email getinfo@cwfphilly.org.

• Logan-based CC Health Care offers medical care in the home. Call 267-304-6775 or visit cchealthcareagency.com. ••

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