PHA Swears in New Police Officers

Celebrates Safety and Security Accomplishments
Milestones includes 24-hours a day coverage, foot patrols, and increase in security cameras

PHAPD Oath

Nearly 50 new PHAPD officers took the oath of office as part of the first expansion of the PHA police in over a decade.

PHAPD Congratulations

PHA President & CEO Kelvin Jeremiah and Board Chair Lynette Brown-Sow congratulate new PHAPD Officer Jackie Hampshire.   

(Philadelphia, PA - July 2, 2013) - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) celebrated the success of its S.A.F.E. Program, which stands for Safe, Affordable Housing For Everyone, at the PHA Police Department (PHAPD) swearing in ceremony today at the Norman Blumberg Apartments in North Philadelphia.  Nearly 50 new police recruits took their oaths of office, marking the first expansion of the PHAPD in over a decade.

The Department will add 10 additional public housing residents to the force as well; those officer candidates will begin training next month at the Philadelphia Police Academy.  Increasing the police force is just one of the many strides PHA has made regarding safety and security. These changes were established with the help of resident leadership after PHA conducted an agency-wide resident survey.

"The S.A.F.E. Program shows our full effort to provide the highest quality of decent, affordable, and safe public housing."  PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah said. "Through this program, PHA developed ways to improve the quality of life for residents by implementing strategies to increase safety and reduce crime."

The PHAPD has now adopted a community-policing model, which will ensure that the officers are engaged with the residents, city and the broader community.
City Council President Darrell Clarke said the new officers will have a special relationship with the community.

"We want to see young people look up to you, to walk up to you, and talk to you about things in their lives…and possibly someday saying 'I want to be in the profession that you have chosen,'" Clarke said. "I want to congratulate you for being a part of the solution in a lot of these communities."

Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., who was born in public housing, told officers they have a very special mission as they patrol PHA developments.

"Your charge is to keep courageous people safe. The price you pay for the space you occupy is service. We expect that of you. We are proud of you. We hold you to that standard."
PHA has invested about $10 million dollars for access control equipment in its buildings and is adding more than 600 pan, tilt and zoom security cameras. This will bring PHA's total camera presence to nearly 800; the cameras will be monitored through closed circuit televisions at the PHAPD command center.

Congressman Chaka Fattah told the assembly that he will ensure that federal money is available to PHA to make safety improvements in the future. Then, he commended the newly-minted officers.

"There are many people who see service, but are not willing to bear the brunt of the challenges, to wear this uniform, to go in the dark of night in places where there could be and may be danger, to provide safety for the residents of public housing," he said.

The S.A.F.E. Program is made up of four committees. They include policing and enforcement, house rules, security measures, and resident engagement.  These committees began meeting in Fall of 2011.  The program has officially concluded, although some committees will remain engaged.

 "PHA's progress regarding public safety could not have been achieved without the support of the City and especially the Philadelphia Police Department." said Jeremiah.

PHA's policy is to deploy officers based on reported crime data. The PHAPD strongly encourages residents and members of the community to partner with the department to increase safety in our neighborhoods by reporting crimes. To file a report, please call PHAPD's anonymous tip line at (215) 684-3350.

PHAPD Ceremony

PHA added nearly 50 new police recruits on Tuesday, July 2nd, during a special ceremony at Norman Blumberg Apartments in North Philadelphia. Shown here (l-r) are Inspector Edward Geiger, Acting Police Chief James Mitchell, Commissioner Dr. Leslie Callahan, PHA President & CEO Kelvin Jeremiah, Board Chair Lynette Brown-Sow, Commissioner Shellie Jackson, Commissioner Rev. Bonnie Camarda, City Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Director of Public Safety City of Philadelphia Michael Resnick, Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross, Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., and Commissioner Nelson Diaz.