Nonprofit Group Forming To Reduce Crime In Reading Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Berks County and the City of Reading for tackling crime head on!

A Reading law firm has begun paperwork to form a new nonprofit group to focus on crime initiatives in much the same way that a private group did in the Altoona area.

The move comes after a January crime summit in which Gov. Tom Corbett urged local leaders to study a Blair County program called Operation Our Town, which was started by business leaders to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Daniel B. Huyett, a partner in the Reading law firm Stevens & Lee, said Wednesday that the group will be incorporated as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

That decision was made at a meeting this week among Berks County business leaders with Michael A. Fiore, owner of an Altoona construction company who started Operation Our Town in Blair County after a series of shootings there.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=465771

Blair County Representatives Visit Reading

If law enforcement leaders can lay out a clear-cut strategy to reduce drug and gang activity in Reading and Berks County, there is a good chance businesses will be willing to pay for some of it.

That was the feeling of Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Thursday after she and other area leaders got a rundown of how a business-fueled crime-fighting program has succeeded in Blair County.

“In our community, it would be helpful to have the business community step up, if we developed some strategies and expected outcomes,” Horan said.

The nonprofit program, Operation Our Town, was started by business leaders in Blair County to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=454375

Business Reaction Mixed To Reading Crime Plan

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County

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

As Berks County political and law enforcement leaders attempt to reshape the future of crime fighting in the county, a third group of people – business leaders – have been pulled into the discussion.

One goal set at the Jan. 18 crime summit called for scrutiny of a Blair County program advocated by Gov. Tom Corbett.

The financial heart of the program is businesses donating money for police initiatives.

No such arrangement exists in Berks. Reactions of business leaders here have ranged from strong skepticism to strong interest.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=453351

Reading Crime Summit’s Initial Plans Move Forward

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

As promised, Berks County Commissioner Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach issued a report Friday detailing progress made since a Jan. 18 summit on crime in Reading and Berks.

After the summit, Leinbach had pledged that he, District Attorney John T. Adams and Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer would distribute a public update in five areas:

City-county cooperation: A meeting between city and county officials has been set for March 11 at 1 p.m. in City Council chambers.

The meeting will be open to the public to observe, but will not be a forum for public comment, Leinbach said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=453131

Altoona-Area Leaders To Visit Berks County, Talk Crime, Revitalization

A contingent of Altoona-area leaders plans to visit Berks County to elaborate on a privately led revitalization and law enforcement effort in Blair County that has won praise from Gov. Tom Corbett.

A visit in the opposite direction – Berks officials going to Blair – was one of five strategy points that emerged from last month’s crime summit.

Officials in both areas said that visit was still likely to happen.  But Randy Feathers, named by Corbett’s office as a facilitator in getting the two communities together, said the Blair-to-Berks visit would happen first.  It is scheduled for Feb. 21.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=448703

Reading Crime Summit Yields Plan

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Editor’s note:  Look what happens when people get together to work on a problem!  Reading needs to be the focus.

The cause of curtailing violent crime in Reading and Berks County got a push forward Friday afternoon as more than 100 public and private leaders conducted a long-awaited crime summit.

Gov. Tom Corbett and U.S. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey were among the participants in the closed-door session held at the Crowne Plaza Reading in Wyomissing.

Lasting two hours and 15 minutes, the summit produced a five-point set of initiatives that county officials pledged to pursue immediately.  Those ranged from strengthening county-city cooperation to a fact-finding trip to learn about a community program in Altoona.

Berks District Attorney John T. Adams and Christian Y. Leinbach, county commissioners chairman, were at the center of preparations for the summit.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=444689