By Mike Newall
The 15th is the busiest police district in the city by a margin of 1,000 crimes.
Police statistics show that from 1999 to 2008 major crime dropped 21 percent citywide and has gone down in 24 of the city's 25 police districts. The lone exception? The 15th, where it rose seven percent.
In the 15th, robberies doubled. Rapes and aggravated assaults nearly doubled. There are still other districts where it's easier to get killed - like the
What's going on in Frankford?
"Crime is moving north," said Bachmayer, at his desk on a recent morning.
The reasons why vary, but most of it is linked to Frankford's deterioration as a stable neighborhood.
Backmayer said successful policing initiatives in
The many unlicensed drug recovery and boarding houses that have followed the drug game up
"You're asking me to put my
The Captain's in the trenches. His job is to figure out where the crime is happening and attack it. The maps he hangs on the wall tell the story.
"This one represents armed robberies in the last week," he said, pointing to a map of his district with 20 red push pins fanned across it. Thirteen of those line the El Corridor in
"Five years ago, we wouldn't have as many robberies in the middle and upper parts of the district," he said.
It's a juggling act. Fight the rise of crime in Frankford and try to stem the spread.
"I know if I don't lay my troops down in the lower end, I'm really going to have problems," said the Captain. "Then, I have to look for the displacement of crime into the middle and upper parts of the district. I can't abandon those areas where crime is shifting."
Displacement. A Wet Sponge. Whatever, you want to call it, it's real.
Quality of life calls
Experiencing their first waves of decay, other neighborhoods flood the district with quality of life calls. Kids on the corner. Vandalism. Loud neighbors. The 15th had the most calls for service in the city last year, with 130,000
As part of his crime plan, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey deployed more foot beats to the 15th. Bachmayer also utilized tactical patrol teams to target specific trouble areas along the Frankford El corridor.
The efforts are paying off. This year, violent crime is down seven percent in the 15th. But that's exactly what it was up last year.
Tactical Officers Craig Perry and Dennis Johnson have patrolled
"They driver's licenses say West or North Philly, but they're coming to Frankford to do their business," said Perry, as he cruised under the EL. "They're coming up north."