Guess How Many Water Bottles the City Has Dished Out? | semakokal | semakokal

This probably won’t come as a big surprise, but Philadelphia officials have gone through a crazy amount of water trying to keep cops and protesters hydrated through the first two days of the Democratic National Convention.

Samantha Phillips, the director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, said Tuesday that the city has doled out 110,000 bottles of water so far, about half of the supply it ordered in advance of the convention. More has already been ordered. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 has also donated water bottles.

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Ben Franklin Bridge Will Glow Blue to Honor Police Killed in Dallas

The Ben Franklin Bridge will glow blue to honor the five officers killed in the Dallas shooting last week.

The blue lights lit up last night and will continue to glow through Sunday. The bridge joins other structures around the country illuminated similarly following the July 7th shooting in Dallas, when a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally was horrifically disrupted by a sniper attack that took the lives of five police officers and wounded seven others.

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Police: Threat to Bomb Districts Was Bogus

Philadelphia Police

Philadelphia police were alerted to a possible threat to three of their district headquarters on Monday.

Police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said a tipster told an officer that a social media post had detailed plans to deliver a package of explosives to the 35th District in Ogontz, the 2nd District in Northeast Philly, and the 6th District in Chinatown.

“We spoke to Homeland Security. They’ve been going through this threat and a ton of others. It’s nothing credible,” he said. “That being said, we can’t be dismissive towards these types of threats, particularly when we see some of the stuff that’s going on across the country. People feel a lot of anger right now, and we can’t just take that for granted.”

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Philly Police Dept. Offer Safety Tips for Pokemon Go Users

A map on the new app Pokemon Go, at the corner of Market and 19th

People have been walking around Philly this past week hunting for Pokemon on the new Pokemon Go app. The game — in case you haven’t seen the pictures on social media — requires the player to leave their house and search for Pokemon on maps that correspond with the real world. It’s fun, but reports of people ending up in dangerous situations prompted the Philadelphia Police Department to share some safety tips. Read more »

Philly Police Will Travel in Pairs Following Dallas Shooting

Philadelphia Police Lt. John Stanford told NewsWorks today that all police officers would be traveling in two-person vehicles following the deadly sniper shootings in Dallas last night, which ended with the death of five police officers. Officers said they aren’t sure how long the precaution will continue.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross spoke to reporters about the Dallas shooting outside police headquarters this morning.

“You watch in horror,” Ross said, according to NBC10. “It’s absolutely horrible and tragic, and your heart goes out to, obviously, that entire city, that department, but [also] the men and women who wear the uniform across this nation.”

The shooting in Dallas occurred shortly before 9 p.m. last night during a Black Lives Matter protest following two incidents this week in which police shot and killed two black men in Minnesota  and Louisiana. Read more »

Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Shot Wife With Crossbow


Courtesy Philadelphia Police Department

Police have arrested the man who allegedly shot his wife with a crossbow Sunday night in the Torresdale neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Paul Kuzan, 40, was arrested yesterday, according to police. He is charged with murder and possessing an instrument of crime.

Authorities found Kuzan’s wife, 42-year-old Pamela Nightlinger, shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday outside her home on the 3100 block of Willits Road suffering from a crossbow-inflicted wound to her chest. Nightlinger and a witness reported that Kuzan shot her with the crossbow inside the home.

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Philly Cop Arrested, Dismissed Following Bizarre Incident

L: Michael Winkler Courtesy of Philadelphia Police Department | R: Courtesy of Dave Connor

L: Courtesy of Philadelphia Police Department | R: Courtesy of Dave Connor

A Philly cop has been arrested following a bizarre May incident in which he allegedly robbed a man he had hired to do work on his Levittown home.

Michael Winkler, 36-years-old, is a 16-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department assigned to the 15th District.

Multiple men, including a contractor Winkler had allegedly hired, said Winkler “lured” them to his Bucks County property on May 5th, promising them “money and pizzas.” According to police, Winkler drove to Levittown while on duty in a city vehicle.

Winkler then demanded one of the men to hand over all his money, police said, and took $38.  Read more »

WATCH: The Philadelphia Police Do the Running Man Challenge

The Philadelphia Police Department recently released a Running Man video, and it’s really, truly fabulous.

The video – all 11 minutes and 33 seconds of it – combines the Running Man Challenge with a parody of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In case you somehow missed it, the #RunningManChallenge refers to a string of viral videos originally started by two high schoolers and adopted by a group of University of Maryland basketball players who recorded their own dance and posted it to Instagram. Many NBA players have since posted videos of themselves dancing to “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJ’s, the soundtrack of the Running Man Challenge.

The PPD’s video was directed by Jeff Chrusch of the PPD’s public affairs office and written by Chrusch and Sgt. Eric Gripp, the PPD’s social media man and meme expert who’s known for his outrageous and nerdy tweets, which sometimes reference Drake or Kanye West.

We were not sure if the PPD would respond after the Detroit Police Department called them out on Facebook about three weeks ago by posting its own version of the Running Man Challenge. But the PPD replied, and the result (which obviously took a lot of time and effort) is better than expected.  Read more »

Philly Police Officer Charged With Attempted Extortion

L: Courtesy of Dave Connor | R: By U.S. government via Wikimedia Commons

L: Courtesy of Dave Connor | R: By U.S. government via Wikimedia Commons

A Philadelphia Police Officer was charged Monday with attempted extortion of an alleged drug dealer, according to documents filed by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

Thomas Vitanovitz, 32, is accused of falsely claiming official right in unlawfully taking 50 pills, which he believed to have been some sort of illegal drug, from an alleged dealer last July 21st, according to charging information provided by federal prosecutors.

During a phone interview with the Inquirer Monday, Vitanovitz said he developed a “pill problem” after shoulder injuries he attained on the job led to two surgeries and a pain pill prescription. He also said he checked into rehab the morning after the arrest, and he plans to plead guilty.

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Fatal Hit and Runs Up 55 Percent This Year

Courtesy Boris Thaser

Photo | Boris Thaser, Flickr via Creative Commons

Fatal hit and runs are up 55 percent this year, the Inquirer reports.

Officer Tanya Little, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Police Department, told the Inquirer there were 17 fatal hit and runs as of Thursday. At this time last year, there were 11.

Nonfatal hit and runs are up too. They’ve risen by 4 percent – from 540 this time last year to 560 this year as of Thursday. And there have been 152 nonfatal hit and runs without injuries – up by 30 percent from 117 at this time last year, Little told the Inquirer.

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