Castor Gardens residents hear from police, mediator about quality of life

At Monday’s Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting in Castor Gardens, a group of 40 met to discuss local affairs at the Max Myers Recreation Center.

Lt. Thomas Macartney of the 2nd District addressed the group, as did  mediator Jonah Roll from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission.

Jared Solomon, the group’s leader, had a member introduce the group’s mission and began the meeting discussing the bylaws, which are to be voted on July 16th. The meeting’s main topic was the rising tide of drug use in the community.

Macartney addressed the crowd about the 6600-block of Castor Avenue, where it meets with Magee, as being a hotspot for drug sales.

“We’ve identified some of them, we’ve arrested some of them, but other crimes will happen because of the drug trade out there,”  Macartney said. “There’ve been two robberies and aggravated assaults.”

2nd Annual Northeast Celebration

Hosted by Take Back Your Neighborhood

Saturday, June 23 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Max Myers Rec Center, 1601 Hellerman St.

Learn about Northeast history, hear from vendors, eat food and enjoy the entertainment

Macartney also spoke about burglaries in the area, which were serious concerns for residents.

“We still have people every day, whether it be in here, Fox Chase or Oxford Circle that go out and leave their door unlocked,”  Macartney said. “They say, ‘well I only went to the store for a minute,’ and that’s one of our big problems. “

Roll followed the lieutenant, and spoke about working as a mediator with neighbor-to-neighbor concerns in the community.

“Folks are a lot more hesitant to reach out to a neighbor because of the legitimate fear of violence,”  Roll said. “The whole idea is if there are two neighbors, there’s frustration, that’s a really good formula for things to get ugly. Our program is based on positive community relations.”


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