Important Safety Updates

During the month of October, there have been several muggings/robberies in the Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill area, particularly in areas near train stations. Some of the victims were injured.  The 14th Police District has informed us that a suspect has been arrested, and has admitted to committing 5 of these crimes.  While that is positive news, the need for us to pay attention to our surroundings hasn’t diminished. Alert neighbors, community groups and Town Watches were instrumental in helping the Police catch the mugger.

            A neighborhood safety meeting has been scheduled forNovember 4th, from 7 – 8:30 PM, at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church (Ardleigh and Gowen). Captain John Fleming of the 14th PPD, Councilwoman Cindy Bass and D.A. Seth Williams have been invited.

            Neighbors have been keeping informed through e-mail alerts and block organizations. Town Watch groups are forming. Walk a Crooked Mile Bookstore has become an informal information center. You can stop by and chat with our good neighbor Greg Williams about what’s happening, or check out the website, (Stopping by is more fun, because there are so many interesting books there!)

            The police responded quickly to a call about a prowler on my block, near the Stenton Train Station, (Sunday at about 3 AM). The officers noticed that some of our back yards are very dark, and suggested installing outdoor lighting that’s on a motion detector, which can be more effective than a steady light, because a burglar/thief wants to get in-and-out quickly without being noticed.

        It is important that you call 911 immediately if you notice suspicious activity. The police would rather respond to a “false alarm” than help you in the aftermath of a break-in or a mugging.

        When driving through the neighborhood, please watch out for our children. An Emlen student was hit by a car a few weeks ago while crossing the street at the intersection of Chew and Johnson Streets. Fortunately, the child was not badly injured. Unfortunately, the driver did not stop. There are not enough crossing guards to have one at every intersection. Our neighborhood schools would welcome volunteers who would like to help regularly; contact your local school if you want to help.

            And don’t forget that little ones will be out on the street till after dark on Halloween, and some are too excited by the prospect of candy to pay attention to cars. Parents should accompany their trick-or-treaters, for a variety of safety reasons, not just vehicles.