In honor of the Philadelphia Police Department’s PSA Week, Mayfair Town Watch hosted one of several meetings in the Northeast last night.
More than 15 people, six police officers, two politicians and other town watch presidents came together at the John Perzel Community Center Wednesday night to host a meeting for the 15th District’s Police Service Area 2.
Just one of many PSA meetings throughout the region, the purpose was to bring together all factions of the community — residents, business owners, police officers and elected officials — to unite the neighborhoods in the hopes of improving them.
“We want to stabilize neighborhoods,” Lt. Bugieda, who oversees PSA2, said. “[The community] plays a critical role there.”
In the video below, Bugieda lists the boundaries of the District’s PSA zones.
With last night’s meeting being the first of the monthly PSA gatherings, Bugieda said the plan is to start slow and small, and incorporate training sessions to help police and residents work out their communication problems. The general goal, he explained, is to target a problem, find out why that problem is occurring and create a plan to solve it efficiently.
“I’m stoked about the system,” Town Watch President John Vearling said. “And I’m 100 percent convinced the council people will be behind us.”
Councilman-at-large Bill Greenlee was on hand to pledge his support, assuring his office is there to “help in any way it can.”
Also at the meeting was Lt. Thomas Hyes, of Police Commissioner Ramsey’s executive staff. Hyers said the PSAs are all about “ownership of the neighborhood.” Residents and businesses owners who cultivate a thriving community will encourage others to do the same.
As for the police, Hyers said, officers who patrol the same area every shift — as they’re meant to in the PSA system — will also feel that sense of ownership on their beats. The more people who become connected to an area and to one another, the better off the neighborhood will be.
Following speeches from police, Town Watch board members and the elected officials, residents took part in a Q&A, bringing up concerns and offering one another solutions.
By the end of the nearly two hour meeting, interests were piqued, morale was high and plans for the first roundtable disscussion were already underway.
As Vearling told those in attendance: “It starts and ends with you.”