Safety Minutes, March 2012

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Safety Committee meeting. Below are the minutes from our meeting.

Our first task is to find a non-Board member who is willing to be our chairperson. DNCA has decided that Board members should not have double-duty so that a) we don’t get burned out, and b) it’s great to involve more members of our neighborhood, especially when presenting at the monthly meetings.

The chairperson is responsible for – or can delegate to someone else – these responsibilities:

  1. Emails – receive general emails sent to our address Not to be confused with which is just for communications within our committee
  2. Lead the monthly committee meeting: Prepare an agenda, make sure the meeting starts and ends on time, make sure we stay on topic, make sure minutes are taken and posted to the website (I handle that, you just have to email them to me)
  3. Give a short update at the monthly general membership meeting: Just present a 3-5 minute update on what the Safety committee has accomplished in the previous month so the general membership of DNCA can stay informed.

As I mentioned, if you don’t like to speak in front of a large group – or you’re not very good with email – you can delegate these responsibilities to another Safety committee member and still be chairperson. In fact, our Green Committee has decided to have co-chairs so that the responsibilities are divided between two people.

On to the meeting notes … We brainstormed a list of possible projects or areas of focus that our group could tackle first. At April’s meeting we’ll prioritize these and determine what our first project should be:

  1. Cameras

    • Are there any blue-light police cameras in our neighborhood?
    • Are there any businesses or residents with cameras? Do they know about registering their camera with the PPD?
  2. Town Watch

    • We agreed that we’re at least a few months out from being ready for a town watch, but it’s something we could aim for if people are interested and motivated
  3. Youth

    • How can we make the neighborhood a safe place to raise our kids?
    • How can we work with youth to make sure they have productive activities so they don’t get tempted by mischief?
  4. Know your Neighbors

    • By getting to know our neighbors, we feel safer, we build a support network, and we can be each others eyes and ears  
    • What neighborly activities can we organize?
  5. Night Outdoors

    • Similar to above, we could organize a neighborhood night where everyone spends outside their house or on their street corners with lawn chairs, board games, conversation, etc.
  6. Street/Alley Lights

    • Some alley lights don’t work anymore. We can help get those fixed for neighbors who want them
  7. Residential outdoor lights

    • Encourage our neighbors to keep their outside lights on at night
    • For neighbors who don’t have an outside light, perhaps we could coordinate with a contractor to get a group rate for those who want one
  8. Trash Pickup

    • We agreed that a cleaner neighborhood translates to a safer neighborhood. We can coordinate with the Green committee for the upcoming Philly Spring Cleanup on April 14.  
    • We could also work with Green to fight graffiti in our neighborhood
    • We can coordinate with S.W.E.E.P., a program of our city government to educate Philadelphia citizens about their responsibilities under the Sanitation Code (
  9. Theft from Auto

    • Our district is actually the safest in the city. However, we have a lot of thefts from cars. We could educate our neighbors on the importance of not leaving any valuables visible in their cars
  10. Public Trash cans

    • It was agreed that public trash cans would probably overflow with personal trash from residents
    • However, apparently businesses are required to have a public trash can outside their business
    • We could coordinate the as-yet-unformed Business Development committee to inform our neighborhood businesses of their obligation
  11. 9-1-1, 3-1-1, and Phone bank

    • Inform neighbors of when to use 311 vs. 911 and how they both work
    • Coordinate with Ted Savage, our 311 liaison, to track and escalate our tickets
    • organize a phone bank for reporting crimes (for residents who are hesitant to call the police directly) and to mobilize multiple phone calls for the same incident to make sure the police give us proper attention
  12. Address on the back of your house

    • If a neighbor behind your building sees a crime in progress – or a fire – and wants to call 9-1-1 on your behalf, they might not know your address. A sign with your address on the back of your house will help them tell the police or fire department exactly where to go
  13. Safety Resources

    • We can continue to update and inform our neighbors about the resources listed on our website here:
    • We can coordinate with the Outreach committee who is publishing a “new neighbor” welcome packet to include a sheet with general safety tips and resources
    • Post monthly tips on our Facebook and Twitter accounts
  14. Catch, spay, and release feral cats

    • Coordinate with SPCA and Companion Pet Hospital to spay stray cats

If you have a preference for one of the above – or new ideas to add to the list – please bring them to our April meeting! Until then, we’ll look forward to seeing you at the DNCA general membership meeting next Monday, March 19.