Hazleton Moves To Save Money On Fire, Police Pensions

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — The city council approved use of a 75 percent amortization option to calculate its 2015 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the city’s non-uniformed, fire and police pension plans on Tuesday.

Don Williamson, ASCO Financial Services Group president, said although the city status as a distressed city has progressed from Level 3 to Level 2, it is still eligible to contribute to its MMO at a discounted rate for the years 2015 and 2016.

The move will save the city over $1 million dollars per year.

Councilman David Sosar inquired as to whether this would result in an increased financial burden to the city in upcoming years, to which Williamson replied, “I really don’t think so.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50460903/Hazleton-moves-to-save-money-on-fire-police-pensions

Woman Killed, Man Burned In 2-Alarm House Fire In Northern Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

An elderly woman was killed and an elderly man burned in a two-alarm fire that destroyed a home in northern Lancaster County Friday morning, officials reported.

A person had been reportedly trapped in the 12:30 fully-involved blaze at 1280 Texter Mountain Road in Reinholds, West Cocalico Township, a county dispatch supervisor said.

An 87-year-old woman died in the fire, an investigator said.

Lancaster County Deputy Coroner Robert Granzow pronounced her dead at the scene. County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said an external exam of her body will be done later Friday morning.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/woman-killed-man-burned-in–alarm-house-fire-in/article_4d8de686-4ab9-11e4-ab4a-0017a43b2370.html

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

Allentown Police Hire New Officers, Implement New Training

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown Police Department added four new officers on Wednesday, as the police chief described for city officials new training and equipment the force has been implementing.

In the last few months the department has appointed its first liaison for the gay and lesbian community, and added training in Spanish language, emergency vehicle usage and riot policing.

The department has also received a $68,000 grant for the installation of audio and video equipment in 10 police cars, something Chief Joel Fitzgerald hopes will be implemented in all the city’s marked police cars.

“It’s a tremendous benefit for both the community, as well as cops because it insulates them from claims that might not be true,” he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentown_police_hire_new_offi.html#incart_river

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

Nazareth Council Wants Harrisburg To Study Police Department; Petition Calls For Chief’s Job

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Editor’s Note:  There are ways to get the state involved when outside intervention is needed.  This should have been done years ago in Pottstown because of the out of control crime rate, that apparently isn’t a concern to the leadership.

Political blogger Bernie O’Hare criticized Nazareth Council tonight for seeking a contractor to study the police force rather than take steps to fix it.

In a shouting exchange with solicitor Al Pierce, O’Hare claimed council had a similar study performed and didn’t like the results so the group is hoping for a better result this time.

“You don’t like what he’s telling you,” O’Hare told the mayor of the private investigator and his report.

Mayor Carl Strye Jr. said the previous study was internal. Pierce called O’Hare’s claims not “factually accurate.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/nazareth/index.ssf/2014/09/nazareth_council_wants_harrisb.html

Community Tips, Cooperation Behind Drug Crackdown In Phillipsburg

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It started with concerned residents reaching out to police.

It ended with nearly two dozen arrests.

A recent drug crackdown in Phillipsburg and 10-day roundup of alleged dealers and users was a team effort, police Chief James Faulborn said last week. Community members relayed tips and information, authorities followed up with “basic police work” and nearby police departments offered a helping hand.

“It was a collaborative effort with us reaching out to the community and the community responding with information,” he said. “Working together with the community and other law enforcement agencies, we were able to execute search warrants and arrest warrants and take the necessary action.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2014/09/community_cooperation_behind_d.html

Allentown Man Pistol Whipped, Robbed At Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

An Allentown man was pistol whipped and robbed after going to a crime-ridden apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre to meet a female “acquaintance.”

Alexander Aron, of Allentown, reported to police on Friday that he went to Sherman Hills to meet a woman he referred to as an acquaintance, Taisha Moore.

Aron met the woman in front of Building 312 and walked to the area of the laundry rooms. He was then approached by two unidentified males, who demanded his wallet, police said.

Aron refused to turn over his wallet and was pistol whipped. He then gave the two males $150 in cash. The two males and the female then fled the area, police said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50148614/Allentown-man-pistol-whipped-robbed-at-Sherman-Hills#.U-9xifRDsxI

Gunfire Heard On Phone By 911 At Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police are investigating gunfire in a hallway inside Building 308 at the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex, which has been the scene of other shootings, stabbings and assaults.

Police responded to the apartment building after Luzerne County 911 received a hang-up call at about 1:25 a.m. Tuesday.

911 called the phone number and were advised that shots were heard in a hallway and the sound of people fighting.

Police said shell casings were found in the hallway. A search of the area did not result in any suspects, police said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50124799/Gunfire-heard-by-911-at-Sherman-Hills#.U-pRh_RDsxI

Easton Mayor Arrives At Scene Of Reported Shooting; Witnesses Say Several Shots Fired

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette ...

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. has arrived at the scene of a reported shooting in the 1200 block of Washington Street.

Easton police have yet to confirm earlier scanner reports that someone was wounded in a drive-by shooting about 3:30 p.m. on the block, but witnesses say they heard or saw several gunshots exchanged between the occupants of two vehicles.

Panto said he didn’t have any information about the shooting. He said he came out to the scene as a show of support for the police department.

“I like to support them and the neighbors,” the mayor said. “They get upset about this kind of thing and rightfully so. Seeing me here can show them that we’re making this a priority.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/08/easton_mayor_arrives_at_scene.html

Heroin, Handguns Seized During Traffic Stop

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

KINGSTON, PA — Police seized a large amount of heroin and two handguns during a traffic stop where one of two men used a state Department of Corrections identification card to identify himself, according to charges filed.

Police said they stopped a Lincoln for heavily tinted windows on Market Street early Thursday morning.

During the stop, an odor of marijuana was detected coming from the car that was rapidly shaking side-to-side due to movements inside the vehicle, police said.

Police said Braemar Omir Parrish, 28, of Allentown, used a state prison card to identify himself.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50099364/Heroin-handguns-seized-during-traffic-stop#.U-O8efRDsxI

UPDATE: Wilkes-Barre Police Investigate Reported Stabbing At Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Police are investigating a reported stabbing Friday night at the crime-plagued Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre that left the victim in critical condition.

A 911 supervisor said the stabbing was reported at 7:30 this evening at Building 320 on North Empire Court. One male was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, the supervisor said.

According to a release from Wilkes-Barre police, the victim had a severe laceration to his neck and was transported to a local medical facility.

A representative from Sherman Hills ordered members of the news media off the private property shortly after their arrival.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50070675/UPDATE:-Wilkes-Barre-police-investigate-reported-stabbing-at-Sherman-Hills#.U9z_GfRDsxI

Largest Target On East Coast Set To Open In Upper Merion

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomer...

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA — King of Prussia’s fire and police departments are prepared for action when the largest Target store on the East coast opens its doors in one of the busiest shopping areas in the Philadelphia area on Sunday.

Ever since the August 2013 announcement of the planned opening, township police and fire personnel have been working continuously with store officials to address all issues of safety and security.

The store, located at 160 West DeKalb Pike in the Valley Forge Shopping Center, will occupy approximately 165,000 square feet of floor area and will provide 800 parking spaces, half of which will be underground.

“When any retail establishment opens in Upper Merion Township, we set up a working relationship with them,” said Lt. Michael Martin, Upper Merion Police Department’s investigation division commander. “We have meetings with the management team and store employees so our officers become familiar with store security, how they operate and what our responsibilities are when a crime arises”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140721/target-set-to-open-in-upper-merion-police-fire-departments-prepared

Massive Scranton Bust Highlights Flow Of The Heroin Pipeline

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

Given a little more time, Dakeem Booker might have turned 2.6 ounces of heroin into $50,000.

The Lackawanna County Drug Task Force had other plans.

Mr. Booker, 28, of Scranton, was arrested last month at his Palm Street home and charged as a drug dealer. County detectives and members of the state parole office raided his home after a tip, detectives said. They found a digital scale, a revolver and countless wax sleeves stamped “Magoo,” a brand of heroin.

Scranton police have charged 713 people for dealing either heroin or cocaine since 2009, according to uniform crime reporting statistics.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/massive-bust-highlights-flow-of-the-heroin-pipeline-1.1722278

Proactive Policing Prevents Problems At Arts Fest

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Being proactive is always better than reactive. Especially in law enforcement.  A certain borough in Western Montgomery County springs to mind for always taking a reactive approach to crime.  Maybe a field trip to State College is in order. Apparently, they got the memo up there.

 — The crime numbers over the weekend of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts show a dip in some areas but an increase in others.

State College police Lt. Chris Fishel compared the activity to a football weekend as he unveiled the numbers to members of the media Monday.

“This is actually a good thing,” he said. Fishel said it could point to more proactive involvement of officers making self-initiated stops rather than constantly responding to dispatched calls.

The total number of police calls in 2014 came in at 235, up from 171 in 2013.

Police Probe 2 Overnight Killings In North Philadelphia

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Philadelphia police are investigating two overnight killings that happened less than a mile apart in North Philadelphia.

The first happened shortly after 11 p.m., when a 53-year-old was beaten in the head with a blunt object outside a home on the 2800 block of North Fairhill Street, police said.

The exact weapon used wasn’t known, but police at the scene told reporters that witnesses reported seeing a man running from the scene carrying some type of metal object.

Police this morning identified the victim as Miguel Aguilar and said he lived on the block where he was killed.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Police_probe_2_overnight_killings_in_North_Philadelphia.html#ACJ6RB92h5orJZkM.99

Alleged Domestic Assault Draws Large Police Response In Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Police took a man into custody Thursday night after he allegedly assaulted a woman and dragged her into his house after she tried to leave.

Around 7:21 p.m., Pottstown police were dispatched to the 1400 block of Cherry Street for the report of a domestic disturbance outside.

Witnesses told police they saw a man, who has not been identified, forcibly pulling a woman into a house on the block. Police said they were told it looked like she was trying to flee from the man and that she may have tried to escape more than once.

Residents also reportedly told police that the man and woman were arguing for most of the day. It’s believed that the two are in a relationship but unclear to what extent.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140710/alleged-domestic-assault-draws-large-police-response-in-pottstown

Mountville Man, 21, Shot Outside Lancaster City McDonald’s

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90s

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man was wounded in a shooting Thursday night outside a Lancaster city McDonald’s.

The victim, a 21-year-old Mountville man, was shot in the lower torso about 6:45 p.m. outside McDonald’s at 575 N. Franklin St. by McCaskey High School, police reported.

A “verbal dispute” led to gunshots, according to city police.

The victim underwent surgery and is expected to be released from a local hospital sometime Friday, according to city police Det. Lt. Michael Winters.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mountville-man-shot-outside-lancaster-city-mcdonald-s/article_681adb82-0304-11e4-b68a-001a4bcf6878.html

Moosic Mayor: ‘Clean Up Or Close Down’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

MOOSIC, PA — Mayor James Segilia has five words for three motels in the borough.

“Clean up or close down.”

Ever since a standoff at the Rodeway Inn, 4130 Birney Ave., in January tied up local police departments for five hours, Segilia and police chief Charles Maurer have sought ways to close down the Rodeway, Moosic Motor Inn, 4124 Birney Ave., and Trotters Motel, 4217 Birney Ave.

The three motels are a nuisance that attract a dangerous clientele and tie up police resources on countless calls, the mayor said.

“It costs time, aggravation and it takes away from police patrols,” Segilia said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/moosic-mayor-clean-up-or-close-down-1.1703585

Feds Raid Asian Restaurants In State College For Undocumented Workers

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Local, state and federal law enforcement are raiding a number of Asian restaurants Thursday in State College, and at least 13 people have been detained in what one federal official says is an investigation of undocumented workers.

Investigators at one scene said the activity is part of a targeted federal investigation, but declined further comment.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security truck is at the State College police department and officials there referred questions to immigration and customs enforcement investigators.

State Attorney General’s office investigators are also reported to be involved.