by Sue Ann Rybak

Not a single member of the public attended Wednesday’s monthly Police Service Area (PSA) 4 Meeting held at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., in which a new PSA leader was introduced.

The 14th Police District is divided into four surveillance sectors known as Police Service Areas, each supervised by a lieutenant. PSA 4 covers Chestnut Hill, portions of Mt. Airy and Cedarbrook.

Community Relations Officer Synell Hall conducted the meeting and announced that Lt. Michael Whaley was recently transferred to another district. Hall introduced Lt. Sean Danbridge, who will now oversee PSA 4.

Lt. Danbridge, who was born in Germantown, said he was happy to be back in his old neighborhood. Danbridge said he is looking forward to working with residents to improve the quality of life in their community. He wants to establish an email list to alert community members about recent crimes and potential problems in their neighborhood. Anyone interested in being added to the list should email him at sean.danbridge@phila.gov.

From Jan. 22 to Feb. 18, Hall said there were three robberies and seven burglaries in PSA 4. Hall said the majority of crime occurred in Cedarbrook. Police made two arrests in connection to two of the robberies.

In several of the burglaries, police reported that thieves were not able to gain access to the properties due to an alarm or double bolted locks. Hall added that while no robberies or burglaries occurred in Chestnut Hill, the area continues to be plagued by thefts from autos.

“Residents continue to leave GPS, laptops, cell phones and other personal items in their automobiles,” Hall said.

Hall quoted the old adage “out of sight, out of mind,” and urged residents to remove or place items in their vehicles’ trunk. She also suggested residents make sure spare tires on the back of their vehicles have a lock on them. In a couple incidents, thieves removed spare tires from vehicles. Hall suggested residents to be proactive when it comes to preventing crime.

“We still want citizens of the 14th district to be vigilant and know that spring is coming,” Hall said. “Now is the time to start thinking about removing limbs and branches from basement windows and the rear of property.”

Hall encouraged residents to call the district at 215-686-3140 to schedule a free security assessment.

According to the 14th district website, the next PSA 4 meeting will be held on March 12th at 7 p.m. at the Chestnut Hill Library.