A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To function better with less manpower, Reading police target specific addresses and people who are the sources of much of the city’s crime, Police Chief William M. Heim said Monday at a monthly strategy meeting of city officers.
“We engage in a very focused type of policing,” Heim said.
When one burglar is caught, burglaries in that neighborhood often dramatically decrease, Heim said.
City police have been having the monthly meetings for seven years, but they have become more vital now that the police force has dropped from 215 to 168 officers due to spending cuts, Heim said.
From a $10,000 gift to Reading police to clearing a trash-clogged storm drain, the city’s three-month effort to get more local nonprofit groups to voluntarily pay either cash or services in lieu of taxes is paying off.
The city has received $27,000 in new payments it didn’t get last year from more than a dozen churches and several other groups.
It’s also gotten more than 9,000 new volunteer work hours in more than 30 new service projects including more than two dozen cleanups – worth $65,000 at minimum wage – from local groups.
“We have received an overwhelming response,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said.
St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where Mike O’Pake graduated from, was bequeathed $2 million dollars. The use of this gift was left to the discretion of the university.
Alvernia University, in Reading, will be the repository for the senator’s entire political memorabilia collection, which chronicles his 42-year career in politics. Eventually the collection will be made public for use by students, scholars and for viewing by the public. Alvernia University was also entrusted with the archives of Shillington native and world-famous author John Updike. Alvernia University said it was “humbled” to be entrusted with the senator’s collection.
Alvernia is slated to receive money from the senator’s estate. However, the amount is unclear at this time. Also in the senator’s will are the Jesuit Center in Wernersville and St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Reading. What ever money remains, after all other bequests and bills are paid, is to be split between these three institutions. Senator O’Pake’s properties and their contents were bequeathed to a caretaker of a disabled family member.