Leaders in one Philadelphia neighborhood say they were told police are not patrolling their streets because they're too busy dealing with crime in another neighborhood nearby.
Residents in the Bridesburg section of the city sounded off in an emotional town watch meeting Wednesday night.
Leaders in the community say they were told on Tuesday by police in the 15th District there weren't enough resources to patrol Bridesburg because they were too busy dealing with crime in Frankford.
“The manpower is just not there,” said Frank Kruzinski of the Bridesburg Town Watch. “That’s the impression we got.”
In addition to angry residents, security contractors from the company Pennsylvania Private Police also attended. Some Bridesburg residents say they want to hire the contractors on their own dime to make up for what they say their tax dollars aren’t covering.
“We shouldn’t have to pay for supplemental, private police,” said Bridesburg resident Janice Abrams. “But until the city does something to get us more police officers, we have to. We have no choice.”
Bridesburg is part of the 15th District, which is the busiest district in Philadelphia and one of the largest. Officers in the 15th District patrol all or parts of the neighborhoods of Bridesburg, Frankford, Tacony, Wissinoming, Mayfair and Holmesburg. Police in the district have received more than 88,000 individual radio calls this year, or 345 a day.
“I think every district in the city needs more officers,” said Philadelphia Police Captain John McCloskey.
Capt. McCloskey insists however that his district is doing its best with the officers they have available. During Wednesday’s meeting, McCloskey promised an additional 24/7 patrol in Bridesburg. He also welcomed the idea of private security aiding his officers.
“I think whether it would be town watch or private security, any help is good help if it’s gonna help the community out,” he said.
While Bridesburg is generally safe, police say it’s had an uptick in property and drug crimes. Residents say they want to stop the problems now before the neighborhood becomes a high crime area.