The 12th Police District in Southwest Philadelphia now has a new police captain.
Captain John Moroney, who has 31 years on the force, has risen through the ranks having served as police officer, sergeant, detective and lieutenant. In November, he was promoted to captain.
Last month, Moroney was transferred to the 12th District at 6500 Woodland Ave.
“My first impression was that it was a large district, it’s over 12 square miles and that there is a lot of crime and with the crime there is also a lot of community members who are very concerned,” said Moroney. He said he wants to reach out to as many community residents and organizers as he can.
One of the first things Moroney did when he assumed leadership of the 12th was restore two officers to foot patrol duty.
“I looked at personnel, saw who I had and what they were doing and saw that there were no foot beat officers on Woodland Avenue anymore and I knew that they were previously out there,” said Moroney.
The foot beat officers were widely respected in the community because of their interaction with neighborhood residents and their removal caused concern among community organizers.
“I heard nothing but positive things about the officers who had been out there and I reached out to the officers and their immediate supervisors and asked them if they wanted to be back out there,” he said.
“Those officers are now reassigned and back out there on the beat,” said Moroney.
Moroney said his vision was to fight crime and the fear of crime.
“What I want to do is to work with the community and business people and try to come together and solve the problem together,” he said. “The police alone aren’t going to solve the problem. We need people out there who can be our eyes and ears to give us information.”
Moroney hopes to partner with local groups such as Town Watch Integrated Services and others who can help make his vision become a reality.
“We can’t be on every corner, on every street, every hour of the day and we are going to have to partner up with them and people in the church and the community — we are really going to have to work together if we are going to improve the quality of life for people in the 12th district,” he said.