By Tom Lineman, Editor
I first had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Captain Pedro Rosario on December 13, 2019. Previously a Lieutenant in the neighboring 25th Police District, Captain Rosario was then newly-appointed Commanding Officer of the 24th Police District. He was attending a Christmas Party for members of the Juniata Park Older Adult Center, hosted by City Councilmember Maria Quinones Sanchez.
The first impression that I got from him was that he cares — he really cares about the people he serves. He was exuberant about the job ahead of him. He knew that he was a perfect fit to lead the 24th District. “When the position became available and I knew I was getting promoted — round pegs, round holes,” he told me on that December day in 2019.
The 24th District is a challenging district, to say the least. The nationally-known epicenter of the illegal drug trade exists here, which brings violence, shootings and homicides with it. One year ago, none of us could have imagined that the COVID-19 Pandemic and nights of civil unrest and looting would strike our neighborhoods. Port Richmond, Kensington and Juniata were all hit hard — not once — but twice this year with mind-boggling looting attacks on our commercial establishments.
Today, Captain Rosario issued a letter to the Juniata/Kensington/Port Richmond Community. It could be titled “WE DON’T QUIT” — which he emphasized twice in the letter. I’ve gotten to know the leaders of the Civic Associations of Port Richmond, Harrowgate, Kensington and Juniata pretty well over the years. “WE DON’T QUIT” falls right in line with their attitudes for their neighborhoods. “Round pegs, round holes.”
Following is the text of his letter:
To Our Juniata/Kensington/Port Richmond Community
To say 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, is an understatement. Our community already had its challenges built in with our addicted homeless population and the violence surrounding our open air drug markets. If that wasn’t enough, Mother Nature decided to drop the Covid-19 pandemic on humanity, and to make things more interesting we had looting and civil unrest in the heart of our neighborhoods.
Just noting these events now, makes me stop for a moment and realize any one of these alone, is enough trauma for anyone to have during their lifetime. I am not noting these issues as a way of depressing all of you, in fact just the opposite. If there is anything I have learned from working with all of you, it has been the spirit to endure. Its understanding that in the face of insurmountable odds, WE DON’T QUIT.
In keeping with that frame of thought, I want to reiterate the commitment of the Philadelphia Police Department, and specifically the men & women of the 24th Police District, to combating the violence, illegal drug operations, and all of the quality of life issues that challenge our community. Please be assured my officers will continue to answer the bell and engage all of these threats aggressively. The 24th District will continue to champion the safety of our community, with the understanding, like our community, WE DON’T QUIT. I wish my best to all of you and your families, and hope that you stay safe.
Pedro R. Rosario
Captain Pedro R. Rosario #18
Commanding Officer 24th Police District
3901 Whitaker Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19124