Leighton Names Hughes New Wilkes-Barre Police Chief

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Make that Chief Hughes, and no more “acting.”

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton this morning named Robert Hughes the city’s top cop, just a month after the 25-year department veteran was appointed acting chief in the wake of longtime Chief Gerard Dessoye’s departure to take a position at King’s College.

“The role of police chief requires great expertise and experience in law enforcement, superior leadership and outstanding professionalism in working with all law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels,” Leighton said during the 11-minute ceremony in the City Hall council chambers.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50505618/

Fear Grows Along With Body Count In Week Of Violence On Pittsburgh Streets

Locator map with the Glen Hazel neighborhood i...

Locator map with the Glen Hazel neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gunmen targeted three victims in two apparently unrelated incidents Monday after a “pretty violent” week around the city that left some residents fearing for their lives.

A Pittsburgh sanitation worker was shot to death in his car Monday morning as he prepared to begin his route. Less than five hours later, two masked gunmen chased two victims on the streets of Glen Hazel in full view of neighbors, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition. A Chicago man was shot in the face and killed Saturday night in Beltzhoover. Arlington Heights was the scene of two daylight shootings Saturday and Sunday that wounded four.

Police are treating the incidents as unrelated, said Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

“Right now, there’s no reason to believe they’re connected,” Toler said. She described the past week as “pretty violent” and said the people involved in most of the shootings participated in “undesirable activities.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6956058-74/pittsburgh-hodges-police#ixzz3GA1DJZje
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AG’s Office Busts Alleged Steroid, Prescription Pill Rings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Correctional officers, a pharmacist technician and a recently-released Dallas Cowboys guard were among the Luzerne County residents charged Wednesday in connection with two alleged anabolic steroid rings.

A state Attorney General’s Office investigation dubbed “Operation Gym Candy” led to the arrest of 13 suspects from five Northeast Pennsylvania counties who are alleged to have participated in the distribution of steroids and prescription drugs.

All suspects were released on varying amounts of bail, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

According to court papers, Brian Laubach, 36, of Berwick, and Richard Piccarreta, 49, of Plymouth, each ran respective anabolic steroid manufacturing and sales operations, working alongside others to distribute the Schedule III substances to customers locally and through the Internet.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50413107/Alleged-drug-rings-busted

York City Police Announce 11 Drug Arrests

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York City Police released more details Friday about an operation this week to arrest people facing drug charges.

Since Tuesday, 11 people have been taken into custody, according to a press release.

The alleged drug deliveries occurred during the past two weeks in the areas of Maple and Duke streets and Pine and Princess streets.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/business/ci_26608732/york-city-police-announce-11-drug-arrests?source=most_viewed

Hazleton Looks At Tax Increase To Pay For Added Police

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — City Council unanimously approved a referendum on Monday night that would ask city voters if they would support an increased police presence on city streets at a cost of a 1-mill tax increase for property owners.

A mill is $1 dollar in tax for every $1,000 of assessed value. For example, a 1-mill increase on a property valued at $100,000 would mean a $100 tax increase for the property owner.

Council member Jean Mope said although she fully supported the hiring of additional police officers, she believed officials should investigate funding sources beyond taxpayers’ pockets.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50375881/Hazleton-looks-at-tax-increase-to-pay-for-added-police

York City Police, ATF Partner To Arrest Gang Members

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United State...

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With gang-related violence in York City continuing to claim lives, city police on Tuesday said they are partnering with a federal agency to take violent gang members into custody.

More than 100 York City Police officers and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the sweep, said Chief Wes Kahley.

At a Tuesday news conference, he said he could not release specific information — including the number of arrests so far — because the criminal investigation is ongoing.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/ci_26590390/york-city-police-atf-partner-arrest-gang-members

Hughes Named Acting Wilkes-Barre Police Chief

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert Hughes is the acting chief of the Wilkes-Barre Police Department after being appointed Monday by Mayor Tom Leighton.

Hughes, the department’s commander of operations, has been with the department for 25 years, according to a press release from the city.

Hughes replaces Gerard Dessoye, who retired Friday after 33 years to take a security job with King’s College.

Diversity Lacking In Scranton, Wilkes-Barre Police

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One.

That’s the number of racial minorities on the 143-officer Scranton police force.

Meanwhile, Scranton has morphed into a fairly diverse city in recent years.

The 2010 census reported the city was more than 5 percent black and 3 percent Asian. More than 80 percent is white. About 10 percent of the population is Latino.

With the mostly white police force in Ferguson, Missouri, making headlines while trying to quell protests from the mostly black town residents after a white officer shot a black teenager last month, the lack of diversity in police departments, and the problems that come with it, have been pulled back into the public eye.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/diversity-lacking-in-scranton-w-b-police-1.1748937

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Announces Schuylkill River Trail Patrols

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COURTHOUSE — The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department will be randomly sending up to three motorcycle-riding deputies to different parts of the Schuylkill River Trail to provide an extra level of security to trail users.

“We just want the people to know that those trails are a jewel to Montgomery County. They are used by thousands and thousands of people every year. Fortunately there are very little problems up there, but I’m all about preventing problems rather than trying to figure them out afterwards,” Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono said on Friday.

Bono said when he was the Norristown chief of police he did the same thing to protect trail users in the Norristown section of the trail.

“Now that I have a countywide position, our cycles are able to ride the entire trail,” he said.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140808/montgomery-county-sheriffs-department-announces-schuylkill-river-trail-patrols

Sex Trafficking On The Rise; Philly A Hub

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE YOUNG woman who befriended Tiffany on the Internet seemed innocent enough – so in the midst of a rough patch with her father, the 16-year-old Northeast Philadelphia girl let her new cyber-friend pick her up at home.

When she got into the taxi on that fateful day in January 2006, Tiffany didn’t know that she was stepping into a dark underworld of violence, drugs and sex slavery. The seemingly normal young woman she’d met on MySpace.com delivered her into the hands of Rahiim McIntyre, 36, a now-convicted violent sex trafficker who awaits sentencing in federal prison.

Over the next two weeks, she would face unimaginable horrors as she plotted to get away from her captor without being caught and beaten – or worse.

The experience of Tiffany – a pseudonym created by the Daily News to protect her identity – is not uncommon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140805_NE_Philly_teen_s_sex-slave_experience_is_all_too_common.html#AcdIPfsVqMRObkto.99

Pittston Township Fires Police Chief, Doesn’t Give A Reason

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pittston Township Board of Supervisors fired police Chief Robert Avvisato without offering explanation or naming a replacement Friday.

Vice Chairwoman Barbara Attardo and Treasurer Steven Rinaldi, the former chief, voted to fire Avvisato, while Chairman Joseph Adams opposed the move at a brief special meeting Friday morning.

Avvisato, a retired state police corporal, is accused of creating a hostile work environment since he took command in January 2013. He is set to go to arbitration with the township over the matter and denies the allegations.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/50029456/Pittston-Township-fires-police-chief-doesnt-give-a-reason

Man Killed In Saturday Morning Shooting In Manheim Township

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man was killed in a shooting Saturday morning in Manheim Township.

According to emergency dispatches, the man was transported to a hospital about 3:50 a.m. for a gunshot wound.

The incident reportedly happened in the area of the 800 block of New Holland Avenue, just outside the city.

Officials confirmed Saturday at 10:30 a.m. that the man has died.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/update-man-killed-in-saturday-morning-shooting-in-manheim-township/article_dcf7f144-f92f-11e3-8c74-0017a43b2370.html

Authorities Seize More Than 1,500 Bricks Of Heroin In Mt. Washington

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Law enforcement officers seized more than 1,500 bricks of heroin in a drug bust in Mt. Washington on Sunday, court records show.

Agents with the state Office of Attorney General charged James Perrin, 35, no address given, and Price Montgomery, 33, of Mt. Washington with drug possession with intent to deliver, corrupt organization, illegally possessing a firearm and other crimes.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6253651-74/perrin-heroin-police#ixzz34AIb6bqP
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The Citizens Action Committee For Pottstown Seeks To Topple Toroney – Usher In New Era Of Safety And Prosperity

The most common type of gun confiscated by pol...

The most common type of gun confiscated by police and traced by the ATF are .38 special revolvers, such as this Smith and Wesson Model 60 .38 Special revolver with a 3-inch barrel. LaPierre, Wayne (1994). Guns, Crime, and Freedom . Regnery Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 0895264773. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA – In response to increased and ongoing violent crime in 2014 (more than 5 gun related crimes since May 18th), THE RESIDENTS OF POTTSTOWN REQUEST THAT COUNCIL PRESIDENT, STEVE TORONEY, STEP DOWN FROM OFFICE.

Statistics bear out the increased crime in our community but the real story lies in the individual experiences of loss and hardship.  There is a vanishing sense of well-being and safety as homeowners lose their homes and all that they have worked for.  Those who remain have lost all confidence in local government.

Montgomery County continues to warehouse their social services population in our community, yet they provide little relief from the results of their actions.   A promise made, to this community to address the “quality of life” issues in Pottstown, by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa V. Ferman has not come to fruition.  Local officials have not held the county responsible nor even asked for answers as to why they continue to overwhelm this community with their disenfranchised population.

Our neighborhoods are not safe.  They are in dangerous shambles, riddled with blight, gang members and others who possess weapons, drugs and display anti-social behaviors.  Yet, Montgomery County continues to fund housing programs that enable and pay negligent income property investors to house people that the county declines to care for.  These investors do not conduct background checks, they fail to register their properties or maintain them, they do not pay taxes nor do they monitor their properties once occupied.  This leaves borough residents exposed and vulnerable.

Taxpaying homeowners/residents are often accused of doing too little to support law enforcement.  In reality we’ve done too little to hold our local officials accountable for the fearful, depleted conditions we find in our neighborhoods.  We have not made them responsible for their failure to advocate for us, to interact and communicate with us, or to include us in seeking solutions.  Monday night we will proclaim the tide is turning.  From this point forward we will hold our elected and paid officials accountable for our diminishing quality of life.

-We ask our elected officials to take a hands-on approach in seeking solutions by working with the paid management that they selected and by holding them accountable for their performance and their interactions with the community. In addition, we ask our elected officials to encourage innovation and measure progress on issues that contribute to crime in Pottstown.

-We ask our elected officials to rid local government of underperforming public servants and to reign in management salaries and expenditures including new cars, iPads, extended paid vacations and other luxuries that we can ill afford.

-We ask our elected officials to acknowledge the reality that many residents in our borough are hardworking people who are trying to raise their families and be good citizens.  Yet, they despair as they watch their investments in this community continue to spiral downward year after year.

Despite the viable options put in place to seek and hire qualified, experienced management from outside the borough, President Toroney’s public conviction was that the right choice for Pottstown was to promote the former Police Chief to Borough Manager and promote the former Police Captain to Police Chief.  We were not fooled.  Today, we most assuredly know that Pottstown is in further decline since those decisions were made.

Today, we ask Steve Toroney to step down as Council President and remove himself from Pottstown Borough Council so that his seat is open to capable, fresh and motivated leadership.  We MUST begin to turn the decline around before we find ourselves facing untenable conditions like those of Camden, N.J. and Detroit.

Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown

Email:  cacptown@gmx.com

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/SavePottstown

The Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown is organizing a peaceful gathering of residents prior to Monday night’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting (to request the resignation of Pottstown Borough Council President, Steve Toroney).  Borough residents are encouraged to come and take a stand to save Pottstown by participating in the gathering before the meeting and/or by attending the meeting and exercising their right as a Pottstonian to address the council during the allotted time for public comments.  This is your opportunity to stand together and make your voice heard.  

Date:                   Monday, June 9, 2014

Time:                   6:15 pm – The gathering in front of Pottstown Borough Hall

                            7:00 pm – Pottstown Borough Council Meeting begins

                            Council Meeting Room on the 3rd Floor.

Where:               Pottstown Borough Hall – 100 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464

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Gun Violence Escalating In Pottstown, Again…

Warm weather does tend to bring out the criminal element in Pottstown.  Since May 18th there have been a number of incidents of gun violence reported by the Pottstown Mercury and WFMZ-TV.

Here is a recap of what’s been going on:

Armed robbery at the Gulf Station on High Street on May 18th: http://m.wfmz.com/pottstown-armed-robber-on-the-loose/26046054

Student arrested at Pottstown High School, allegedly robs another student at gunpoint on May 28th: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140528/updated-student-arrested-at-pottstown-high-school

Shooting near Brian’s Cafe (scene of a murder last year) on May 31st:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-late-night-pottstown-shooting-sends-man-to-hospital

Armed robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on High Street (East End) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-high-street-bank-robbed-fbi-seeks-armed-suspect

Police investigating gunshots near Wilson and Spruce Streets on June 2nd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140602/pottstown-police-investigating-gunshots-near-wilson-and-spruce-streets

Police are investigating a shooting in Pottstown on Chestnut Street on June 3rd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140603/updated-man-injured-after-shooting-in-pottstown-video

UPDATE: Police are investigating a homicide on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown on June 5th: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeInPottstown and also the Pottstown Mercuryhttp://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/man-found-dead-in-car-in-pottstown

I think the examples above should be some kind of RED FLAG that there is a problem with violent crime in the borough.  And frankly, these are just the big incidents that I could find quickly to illustrate this problem.  A town of 22,480 (2012) should not have this much crime.

People are afraid.  People should expect more for their extremely HIGH TAXES.  If the Pottstown Police Department is overwhelmed then by all means call Harrisburg and ask for some help.  HINT:  Kathleen Kane’s Office for starters.  There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  Maybe “keeping a lid on the powder keg” needs to be replaced with a better strategy?????

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Police: Man Arrested After Stealing From Same Store 3 Times In 5 Days

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 20-year-old county man was arrested after stealing from the same Manheim Township store three times in five days, police said.

Skyler J. Daugherty, who has addresses on East Main Street in Lititz and in the 700 block of Pearl Avenue in Manheim, also now faces additional charges from other police departments in the county.

On May 16, Daugherty took a watch and speakers valued at $242 from the Walmart at 2030 Fruitville Pike, Manheim Township police Sgt. Tom Rudzinski reported.

On Monday, he took $209 worth of gaming items from the same store.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/police-man-arrested-after-stealing-from-same-store-times-in/article_62ad8c2c-e1d4-11e3-b5d2-001a4bcf6878.html

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Investigation Shows Heroin-Related Deaths Are Not Accurately Counted

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "...

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for “plugging” heroin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elected officials, law enforcement officers and others proclaim there’s a heroin “epidemic” sweeping the country, and it’s taking hold in rural and suburban communities once considered unlikely places to find illicit drugs.

But nobody knows how many people have died.

Nobody knows how many have overdosed and survived.

Nobody even knows for certain where the problem is most severe.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140511/investigation-shows-heroin-related-deaths-are-not-accurately-counted/1

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Former Amity Cop Convicted Of Shoplifting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — A former Berks County police officer finds himself on the other side of the law now that he is a convicted shoplifter.

Former Amity Township Police Officer Glenn James Oesterling, 36, has been sentenced in Montgomery County Court to two years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of retail theft in connection with a June 2013 incident that occurred at the Upland Square Giant store in West Pottsgrove. Judge William R. Carpenter, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered Oesterling to complete 36 hours of community service.

Specifically, Oesterling admitted that he stole items valued at $296.35 from the store on June 18. Authorities said Oesterling passed the store checkout area without paying for merchandise he placed into blue, reusable shopping bags in the shopping cart he was pushing.

Oesterling did not offer an explanation for his conduct.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140505/former-amity-cop-convicted-of-shoplifting

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Police Cracking Down On Aggressive Drivers Across Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONTGOMERY TWP, PA — Along Route 309 in Montgomery Township on Monday afternoon, lights from police cruisers flashed next to an orange “Aggressive Driving Enforcement” sign as every few minutes, a vehicle was directed to pull over by a contingent of township cops who were doling out citations for speeding, tailgating or other traffic infractions spotted moments earlier by officers stationed a half-mile up the road. It was part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s ramped-up efforts — which began on Monday and lasts until May 4 — to crack down on a spectrum of illegal and dangerous driving habits in a big way across the state.

Boyertown police announced their aggressive driving details will continue through Sept. 14.

“We’re here today to raise awareness about the dangers of aggressive driving, and to target those drivers who are causing far too many crashes on the roadways,” said PennDOT spokesman Lou Belmonte at a Monday morning press conference inside the Montgomery Township Building, where he was joined by law enforcement officers and members of the Montgomery County Health Department and Buckle Up PA to announce the first wave of the PennDOT-funded 2014 Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project).

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140325/police-cracking-down-on-aggressive-drivers-across-pa

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Mount Joy Hires New Police Chief, Lifts Restriction On Police Overtime

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Joy Borough officials lifted restrictions on police overtime and approved the hiring of a new police chief on Monday, March 3, after hearing discussions on recent staffing issues within the department.

Council members agreed to hire Kevin Girling, a Lieutenant with the York City Police Department, as chief of the Mount Joy Borough Police Department at a salary of $85,000 following a mid-meeting executive session to discuss the matter.

Girling, who is still working in York, will need to sign an employment agreement before officially joining the Mount Joy department , no later than April 1.

“Thank you to everybody who helped with the process,” council member William Hall said. “We put a lot of hours in, a lot of meetings, a lot of feedback from the public, and I’m very confident that this is going to work out.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mount-joy-hires-new-police-chief-lifts-restriction-on-police/article_7d374eac-a872-11e3-839d-001a4bcf6878.html

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