Fox Chase Town Watch

What's Going On in Fox Chase? My Personal Blog.

Home
My Son My Hero My Marine - Making a difference!
Photo Gallery
City Resources
Upcoming Community Events
Links
Our Sponsors
Contact Us
Our Location
About Us
National Night Out Page
What's Going On in Fox Chase? My Personal Blog.
Crime Alerts
Tips on Calling 911
Lance Corporal Christopher Phillips
webassets/07_6A.jpg
Parris Island January 2013- US Marine Base

President's Message

This area will be used to publish information as it relates to the safety and quality of life for the families and children of the Fox Chase community. Since our members  spend their valuable free time patrolling the streets of Fox Chase, it is only fair that we share what we are seeing first-hand with you. I will attempt to update this section as often as I can to give you important information on what is going on in our neighborhood! I will also use this section to update you on past and present members of our organization. Thank you for your support!

January 2014- Many wise people have said that the only constant in life is "change". This includes the US Marines who have decided to change my son's deployment location to Uganda, Africa. On January 7th, Christopher will begin his first deployment which may keep him apart from his family and friends until September 2014. The word "sacrifice" now has a new meaning to me personally! While I am not sure what Christopher's mission will be in Uganda, I am asking everyone to show their support by sending him letters or any items you might think Chris would appreciate. Below is Christopher's mailing address:

David Walcott (C/O Christopher Phillips)
Office of Security Operations
SPMAGTF 14.1
2190 Kampala PL
Dulles VA  20189-2190

Please keep Christopher in your prayers for a safe return home!  

October 2013 -  I just received word from Chris that he will be deployed to Libya in early January 2014. Chris will help lead a support mission to protect our country's interests in this region. Chris will be home in late December to enjoy some time off with family and friends before shipping out in January. On behalf of my son, I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during Chris' time overseas.

January 2013-  I felt it was important to share with you the above photo of my son Christopher which was taken during his graduation from the Marine Boot Camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Chris graduated from Father Judge with 1st honors in June 2012 but decided that his first mission as an adult would be to serve his country in the US Marines. Even though he was accepted to eight colleges, with many offering generous scholarship money, Chris felt a strong desire to protect the citizens of our country. While having many choices as to what area to train, Chris choose the Infantry which is one of the most physically and mentally demanding sections of the US Marines. This area also will put Chris in harms way. 

Chris was very young when Eddie Polec was murdered, but I believe this tragic event greatly influenced him to want to protect people. Standing 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 140 pounds when he entered boot camp, Chris still excelled in every challenge he faced and received a promotion to Private 1st Class. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, Chris was again promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. Very shortly, Chris will receive his orders to go overseas (not sure where at this date). I ask for everyone to pray for Chris to return home safely. We are all very proud of him! 

January 18th, 2010- With todays technology that is available to us, I have found many ways that we can gather up to date information on what is going on in our neighborhood by just simply being connected. For instance, Captain Joseph Zaffino, Cammander of the 7th Police District recently went online with Police Alerts that can be very helpful to the crime that we all must face. You can sign up at www.readynotify.org, and receive both text messages and email alerts. Please visit this website and choose what best fits your style. I also recently signed up for a daily email from www.neastphilly.com, which gives me important news of what is going on in Northeast Philadelphia. Check out these sites and get connected!

I want to remind everyone to remove anything of value in your vehicles when you park and most importantly to lock your car at all times. Too many Fox Chase residents have been victims of car break-ins both during the day and night. These criminals simply check all door handles until they find a vehicle that was left unlocked. If they notice a GPS, Ipod or laptop sitting in the car, they often will smash and grab these items and run. Lets look out for each other by paying attention to these hoodlums. They often stand out by their behavior of looking intently in to cars. Many will try to blend in by walking a dog, or appearing to be "out for a walk". While they usually prefer the cover of darkness, we still can be on the look out during times when we come home late or for some of us who go to work during the early hours. If you see something that does not look right- call 911 and report a suspicious person and give them a location. Even if you are wrong, it still does not hurt to have a police car come in to our neighborhood and check things out. Besides, you don't even have to wait around for the police, but your call may be helpful!    

August 24th, 2008- I just recently learned of the School District's plan to open a "disciplanary school" at the former site of the Orlean's Technical Institude located at 1330 Rhawn ( near the intersection of Rhawn and Dungan). The School District has contracted with a private for-profit company named Camelot Schools to manage this building and it will be referred to as "Camelot at Shallcross". This raises many questions and concerns but my first question is why would the School District pick this location. There is a senior citizen retirement home ( Gloria Dei Estates) right next door and two of the cities valued residential sub-communities, Fox Run and Meadowbrook at Fox Chase within a short distance. There is also a Synagogue directly across the street. This location makes no sense at all. Disciplanary schools should always be located in remote areas far away from any residential homes and families. We have enough destruction, graffiti, and vandelism just from our own neighborhood kids Why would we want 500 of the most problematic and disruptive students placed at this location. The 2nd Police District does not have enough manpower as it is now thanks to Commissioner Ramsey sending all the police graduates to the 9 worst crime districts. Where is the fairness. Since the residents of the 4 Northeast Police Districts pay more city taxes then these 9 other Police Districts, why are we being short changed. If the School District feels strongly about putting a disciplinary school in a nice neighborhood then why don't they put it in Chestnut Hill??? I think we all know the answer to this question.         

August 4th, 2008 -It is with great anguish to learn of the death of one of our local teens who was tragically killed by an R-8 regional rail train last night near the Lawndale Station. I do not think it is appropriate to point fingers of blame nor do I feel we should just shrug this off as "kids being kids". As far as I am concerned, we all share some blame for not getting our message out to all our teens- very simply- stay away from the railroad tracks. To the parents of Fox Chase, I cannot tell you how many of our kids -male and female- go on to these tracks each and every night. Many tell me that they are "just going to McDonalds". Take this unfortunate opportunity to sit your kids down and make them promise you that they will stay off these tracks.        



Crime Alert
: During our recent community Town Watch Meeting on March 12th 2008, Community Relations Officers Rich Simon ( 7th ) and Mark Mroz (2nd) advised our community of the increase in "smash and grab" automobile crimes in Northeast Philadelphia. The CRO's stated that you should never leave your car unlocked nor leave any valuables inside. The hot item for criminals are the GPS devices that are popular with todays drivers. The CRO's warned that the criminals are looking for the suction marks left by the GPS on your inside windshield when removed. They advise to clean off this suction mark! If you see anyone lurking around a car, call 911 immediately!    

Mayor Nutter/ Police Commissioner Ramsey's New Crime Inititive

The Philadelphia Police Department is asking for our help in locating 150 of our city's most violent criminals. These criminals are living in every neighborhood of our city so lets join together and help the Police with information to their whereabouts. To see a mug shot of each of these violent criminals please visit www.ppdonline.org and click on Philadelphia's Most Wanted Felons, or go to our "Links" section and click on "Philadelphia Police Department.  You can report all information anonymously for your protection. Lets stand up to the "Don't Snitch- Don't Tell" culture that is destroying our neighborhoods. Lets help our city!  Warning- do not attempt to apprehend any of these criminals as they are to be considered armed and dangerous.     Call 911 immediately

Crime Alert: On Saturday January 12, 2008 at 3:30 AM, Keller's Market was attempted to be robbed by three African American males.  It was reported that they reside in the Lawncrest area. They were apprehended after this incident by police.  It is imperative that any suspicious activity be reported to 911 immediately. 

Crime Alert: Seventh District Captain Zaffino recently advised the town watch of numerous daytime burglaries concentrating in the area north of Rhawn Street.  Please pay attention to any individuals who may appear to be out of place or acting in a suspicious manner. 

Crime Alert- 5 shots were fired on Saturday December 15, 2007 at approximately 10:30 pm at the intersection of Halstead and Stanwood Streets.  These five shots struck 2 vehicles which were parked on Stanwood street. One bullet struck the vehicle gas tank causing gas to leak out on to the ground. Neighbors spotted a red/maroon Chevy Impala year 2002-2004 leaving the scene. While I believe this was a random act of violence with no intended traget, we all know that innocent people can be killed by stray bullets. 

Crime Alert - There have been several armed robberies/assaults in the past few months which targeted our teens as they walked through our neighborhood.  These thugs/criminals pull over in a car and rob our teens of cash, cell phones, MP3 players, IPods, and any other valuables they may have.  If you notice a suspicious car slowing down or following you, please call 911 immediately. Some times these criminals will first engage you in small talk, to see if the surroundings are clear of adults and cars.  Do not be fooled- stay alert! Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed to call 911 to say you are being followed by a car of people that may try to rob you!   Parents- educate your children on these lurking dangers.  While I realize it is not practical to keep them indoors at all times, we need to help our children better recognize these dangers and more importantly how to react to them.  Do not assume your children will know what to do if a situation like this occurs. Teenagers typically think that nothing bad can happen to them. 

Graffiti Update: While our graffiti removal task force has been quite successful in removing much of the increased graffiti that has damaged our property values this past summer and fall there are still a few individuals who continue to break the law by defacing other people's property.  I am hoping that some of our law abiding teens will do the right thing and report their identities and addresses to their parents who then can email this information to me. This information will then be turned over to the Police Neighborhood Services Unit for handling.  I am even willing to give a financial reward for information leading to the arrest of any individual defacing our neighborhood with graffiti.  Parents please talk to your kids.  You may be surprised at how much they may know!  Special thanks to Mike Bobby for all his time and efforts in removing the graffiti in Fox Chase!        

During the past eleven (11) years that I have been patrolling the streets of Fox Chase, there has always been one location that stands out above all others in the hidden dangers that await our children.  The place that I am referring to is the Fox Chase Recreation Center.  With the tragic beating death of Eddie Polec (November 1994) and the near beating death of William Scheb (September 2001) still fresh in my mind, I have always made the Fox Chase Recreation Center our top priority.  Without question, our rec center is our greatest asset in Fox Chase and needs to be given the highest degree of protection and security possible.  Recreation Leader John Curry along with the Fox Rok Athletic Association, Fox Chase Soccer Club, and the Fox Chase Roller Hockey Association provide thousands of our children the opportunity to participate in sports and many other activities.  The Rec center is also a magnet for illegal activities that not only threatens the safety of our children while they participate, but threatens our entire neighborhood as well!  The Fox Chase Recreation Center must be protected at all costs! 

 

I want to give you a quick overview of some of the illegal activities that have taken place at the rec center during the past years: underground sprinkler system was destroyed, batting cages were damaged, concession stand doors/locks and siding were damaged, bales of hay were set on fire near concession stand, trash cans were set on fire and placed near rec buildings, tennis court nets were damaged, basketball rims/nets damaged, fields ripped up by ATV's and dirt bikes, tot lot trashed by broken beer bottles, graffiti sprayed on buildings numerous times.  

 

This list is just vandalism and is not by no means a complete list.  Now the other list that I fear more: April, 2006, five bullets fired from gun near pool side basketball court during robbery by 3 teen males, 24 year old male shot 2001 poolside area on Rockwell Ave, July 2006, large brawl involving 10-20 adults near tennis court side of rec- threats of retaliation were issued.

I just picked up Saturday's Daily news (08/19/2006) and recognized the thug on the front cover as he was up at our rec center on numerous occasions in his now obvious attempt to sell his drugs to our drug dealers.  I just went on Megan's Law Web Site and discovered a "sexually violent predator" who is listed as living only a few blocks from the rec center.  As I stated previously- we must protect our rec at all costs!

The Fox Chase Town Watch along with all the community groups that I have listed above, have proposed the idea of placing security/video cameras at strategic locations around the Fox Chase Recreation Center and Fox Chase Elementary School.  We are presently seeking the financial support of our local politicians in order to accomplish this very important safety initiative.  It is our hopes that we will receive the necessary funding to begin this project ASAP!  I will keep you posted.  August 20, 2006

 

This past week I have had the pleasure of setting my alarm for 2:45 am as I have been filling in for another supervisor who is on vacation.  While I do not get this opportunity often, I figured I might as well check out what Fox Chase looks like at this time of the morning.  To my unpleasant surprise, I came upon a group of people shooting a basketball at 3:30 am up at the basketball courts by the hockey nets. While I did not think they were doing anything illegal, I could not help to feel that they were disturbing the sleep of the residents of Ripley Place (I called 911 anyway but could not wait for them to arrive).  The next night I came upon two kids (who looked 14-15 years old) walking on Rhawn Street.  I pulled up to them and asked where they were going this time of night.  The one boy replied that they were "going to Wawa."  I reminded them that they might be picked up by police for a curfew violation.  This did not seem to faze them at all.  I only wished that a police car was close by in order to hold their parents responsible. 

 

On a more positive note, I would like to congratulate Lawncreast Town Watch President Ken Hyers for his heroic and quick action in helping second district police apprehend a low life scumbag (sorry for letting my true feelings come out) who was preying on unsuspecting young females (see Northeast Breeze article, August 24th edition).  Ken has been trying very hard to motivate the Lawncrest Community to unite and take back their neighborhood.  What Ken and his neighbors did was an example of what can happen when people step up to make a difference in their neighborhood!  While I do not know exactly how I would react to a situation like this, I do know that we all must feel compelled to step up if the situation presents itself.  Since we all seem to have a cell phone at our side, do not hesitate to call 911 if you see anything that you know is wrong, or something that disrupts our Quality of Life.  This is one of the best ways you can make a difference and in turn help keep Fox Chase a great place to live! 

 

Parents and Guardians- While it is always our goal to make the Fox Chase Recreation Center a safe place for our children to enjoy the many sports and activities that are available, please do not allow your children to "hang out" at the Fox Chase Rec. after hours (10pm). If your child tells you they are not going there, I strongly recommend that you check up on them anyway. While many of our kids are willing to say "no" to drugs and alcohol, allowing them to be in an environment of peer pressure from the kids using drugs and alcohol may cause your child to make a bad decision. Believe me when I say that this environment does exist after hours at the Fox Chase Rec. Just recently, several teens were arrested for underage drinking and drug use. Captain Michael McCarrick, Second District Commander has promised his support in arresting individuals committing illegal acts up at our Rec. Center. Getting caught drinking underage is taken very seriously these days. It could hurt your child's chances in getting accepted in to a college program or other career programs. The State of Pennsylvania will also punish your child in deferring their privledge to drive. Again, stay firm in your zero tolerance of letting your teen hang at the Rec. This may turn out to be the best thing you will do for your child!        

 

 

 

P.O. Box 56528, Philadelphia, PA 19111
215-694-6666
Special Thanks to Nicole Phillips for maintaining this web site for the betterment of the Fox Chase Community!