Taking Back South Philly Streets

Filed under: Government,South Philadelphia,South Philly,Subject Categories |

by Maria Merlino

Eighteen months ago, Carol Lanni was a typical South Philadelphia working mother with a couple of teenagers to look after. Then came the fateful day when her son was robbed of his phone and other personal items in broad daylight by teen thugs who were dropped off in her neighborhood by adult enablers. It was the impetus, the nexus, of Taking Back Our South Philadelphia Streets, her brainchild for alerting the community as to where and when crimes occur and to report shady activities. Last Saturday, at 4 p.m., hundreds of people crowded Broad Street & Oregon Avenue to come together to buy T-shirts, blue ribbons and carry signs as they walked to City Hall to remind the community the police are the taking their lives in their hands every day.

RUSSELL SHOEMAKER, president of 1st Police Dist. Advisory Council; 3rd Dist. Police Lt. Tony Mirabella Jr.; Samantha Regalbuto; and 1st Dist. Police Lt. Joseph McBride. Photo by Maria Merlino

RUSSELL SHOEMAKER, president of 1st Police Dist. Advisory Council; 3rd Dist. Police Lt. Tony Mirabella Jr.; Samantha Regalbuto; and 1st Dist. Police Lt. Joseph McBride. Photo by Maria Merlino

“It was my idea to generate a pro-police rally” said Lanni. “Because the cops are out day in and day out, as a community, we need to show them we appreciate what they are doing. Their families kiss them goodbye and hope they return safe and sound. We’re raising money for victims and also raising awareness for the website.”

Over 16,000 people follow her Facebook page along with Instagram and YouTube. There are also the Crime Bulletins she posts with the blessing of the 1st and 3rd Police District through Officer Mike Duffy. Her mantra? If you see something, say something.

“We have many elderly or frail people that are afraid to call the police, but will let us know through Facebook if something awry is going on. We then can take it from there,” she said.

Also in the crowd is 1st District Lt. Tony Mirabella, Jr.

“What a great show of support from the heart of the community,” he enthused. “I feel great about this. In the 37 years that I’ve been in the force, it’s never been so bad. This physically shows us that South Philly is behind the police.”

Russell Shoemaker, who is the President of the 1st Police District Advisory Council, has a son and four nephews in blue.

“Police lives matter. All lives matter. We have to support our police,” he declared.

Police mom, Franny Sposaro, who has a son, Nick,  is scared to death every day.

“It’s terrifying every night when he leaves for work but I’m still here to support him. It seems like there is less and less respect for the uniform even though their lives are on the line every time they walk out the door,” said Sposaro.

POLICE mom, Franny Sposaro, is a walking billboard for her son, Police Officer Nick Sposaro. Photo by Maria Merlino

POLICE mom, Franny Sposaro, is a walking billboard for her son, Police Officer Nick Sposaro. Photo by Maria Merlino

RAISING the flag for the Philadelphia Police Department are Bobbi Squadrito, Chrisy Carosella, Mike Duffy, Sam Paranzino and Carole Fele. Photo by Maria Merlino

RAISING the flag for the Philadelphia Police Department are Bobbi Squadrito, Chrisy Carosella, Mike Duffy, Sam Paranzino and Carole Fele. Photo by Maria Merlino

KILLED in the line of duty by a thug, Sgt. Steve Liczbinski’s memory will never fade. Here to bring his name in the forefront are Joni Israel and Christine Quinn. “It’s an honor to be here and we will do anything to support the police,” said the ladies. Photo by Maria Merlino

KILLED in the line of duty by a thug, Sgt. Steve Liczbinski’s memory will never fade. Here to bring his name in the forefront are Joni Israel and Christine Quinn. “It’s an honor to be here and we will do anything to support the police,” said the ladies. Photo by Maria Merlino

TAKING Our South Philadelphia Streets Back founder, Carol Lanni, and from the 3rd District, Mike Duffy. Photo by Maria Merlino

TAKING Our South Philadelphia Streets Back founder, Carol Lanni, and from the 3rd District, Mike Duffy. Photo by Maria Merlino

RETIRED Philadelphia Police Officer Russ Ferrante donates his time and talent as a DJ to coalesce the walkers for the Rally to Support Our Police Officers. Photo by Maria Merlino

RETIRED Philadelphia Police Officer Russ Ferrante donates his time and talent as a DJ to coalesce the walkers for the Rally to Support Our Police Officers. Photo by Maria Merlino

SAM Paranzino with his good friend, attorney Vince Giucino, get ready to march on Braod Street. Photo by Maria Merlino

SAM Paranzino with his good friend, attorney Vince Giucino, get ready to march on Braod Street. Photo by Maria Merlino

ONE OF THE most difficult songs to sing is The National Anthem, yet Denine Aversa belted out her rendition that was worthy for a solo at the Kimmel Center. Photo by Maria Merlino

ONE OF THE most difficult songs to sing is The National Anthem, yet Denine Aversa belted out her rendition that was worthy for a solo at the Kimmel Center. Photo by Maria Merlino

FRANKIE Lantanzo, who helps to run the Taking Back Our South Philadelphia Streets website is proud of his sister, singer Denine Aversa. Photo by Maria Merlino

FRANKIE Lantanzo, who helps to run the Taking Back Our South Philadelphia Streets website is proud of his sister, singer Denine Aversa. Photo by Maria Merlino

WITH MANY members of her family in the Philadelphia Police Department, Carin Porchia and her children, Shane and Rosalina, braved the cold and walked 3 miles to City Hall. Photo by Maria Merlino

WITH MANY members of her family in the Philadelphia Police Department, Carin Porchia and her children, Shane and Rosalina, braved the cold and walked 3 miles to City Hall. Photo by Maria Merlino

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