Now that the weather is warmer and people are involved in more outdoor activities, we are noticing that problems are starting to escalate in the Washington Street Corridor. The Mercury reported two shootings, in the last week, in that general area as well as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to a third person.
It appears that noise and loitering are on the rise. Large groups of people hanging around with nothing in particular to do which is a recipe for disaster. Idle hands….
It has come to my attention that there is a particular hot spot of activity which needs to be addressed. If we are serious about cleaning up and stabilizing the core neighborhood through homeownership, we better start putting our money where our mouth is. The few homeowners in that area are sick of this behavior and are prisoners in their homes. You will never attract new homeowners with this sort of lawlessness being allowed to go on. Confronting these people is dangerous and should be handled by law enforcement professionals.
This activity is a black eye for Pottstown and continues to reinforce the stereotype that our community is a ghetto and unsafe. This is of course not true, but perception is hard to change. This problem area of town needs immediate and swift attention.
If we expect PAID to do their job, crime MUST be brought under control. How is PAID supposed to attract business and industry to Pottstown if this Wild West behavior is tolerated?? Who the hell will invest in Pottstown if we cannot get a handle on criminal activity?? The answer is Section 8 slumlords!
We need to start enforcing the laws we have on the books and being a little more clever. Again, I suggest cameras for problem areas and beefed up patrols. If we cannot get the criminal element in this town under control PAID is DOA!
This cannot be stressed often or loud enough. Thank you for your Public Service Messages Roy, I hope our Borough is listening.
Yes! Thank you Roy for posting. I don’t think I’ve ever read of someone in Pottstown getting cited for the noise ordinance. But yet cars drive down my street, whose thumping music rattles my windows, and they never get cited.
I too am dreading the warmer weather. Look at the mob scene on Beech St not too long ago. The police couldn’t control that situation. Why not? Isn’t that what we’re paying taxes for? I just don’t understand how the police can’t control these types of situations.
Ed, we may have to stand strong as taxpayers and have an old-fashioned peace rally at borough hall. Call in the big press from Philly, Allentown and everywhere to video tape, interview us and read our signs proclaiming that WE NEED EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP IN POTTSTOWN. This Borough doesn’t need another blasted ordinance when don’t and won’t enforce the ones one the books. Seriously, let’s protest.
Pottstown has very stringent ordinances, none of them are enforced. Of particular interest: DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT and DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT procedure. LOITERING FOR UNLAWFUL PURPOSES. and CURFEW, just to name a few.
For example, do you know that if the police are called to an address, on a nuisance call, more than 1X in a 30 day period the owner of that property is to be billed for the services of the police? Not being enforced.
Do you know that if the police are called to a rental property more than 3X’s in a 12 mo. period the landlord must begin eviction proceedings? Not being enforced.
Let’s talk about the NO LOITERING ordinance because that is HUGE in Pottstown:
“PLACE, PUBLIC or PRIVATE – includes, but is not limited to, the following: all places commonly known as being distinctively public, such as public streets, public rest
rooms, sidewalks, parks, alleys and buildings, all places privately owned but open to the
public generally, such as shopping centers, transportation terminals, retail stores,
movie theaters, office buildings and restaurants and all places distinctively private,
such as homes or private residences and apartment houses”. IS THIS ENFORCED? HELL NO!!
We have scads of volunteers in Pottstown who are working hard to try to turn this around…but WHERE oh WHERE is our LEADERSHIP. Oh, right – The Mayor, (who’s job definition is to oversee law enforcement), is busy meddling with the County over grant money that she would like to take away from the Gallery. She’s busy praying for the haters, and WORKING HARD TO UNDERMINE THE COUNCIL AND THE GALLERY. Bonnie Heath IS NOT HELPING and is in fact doing harm.
And where oh where is our Chief of Police? Besides blaming every other faction in Pottstown for it’s failures, he does NOTHING to engage with the people of this community. Is he taking a leadership role in bringing various organizations together to problem solve? NO, he is not.
THIS IS THE WORK OF OUR MAYOR AND OUR POLICE CHIEF. Get off your duffs and DEMAND THAT THEY DO THEIR JOBS.
The Mercury needs to step up to the plate and pitch hit for this community too…they can start by publishing the ordinances that pertain to the issues that allow criminal activities to remain unabated on our streets. Every blog and every press organization needs to take a stand in favor of this community and, put the hard questions to our illustrious Mayor Heath and Chief Flanders. Our own leadership is ENABLING the criminals in Pottstown.
Come on folks, we have got to work together to solve these problems. Unpaid volunteers are putting more hours into this effort than the people we elected and those people that WE PAY with our diminishing tax dollars.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” ghandi
Thank you for posting this insightful comment! People need to get outraged that this criminal activity is threatening everything so many of us are working for – which is a better Pottstown! We need to start demanding that the leadership in this town step up to the plate. Otherwise, we need to vote these people out of office if they cannot or will not take a tough stand against crime. No other way to sugar coat this. The time for action is yesterday!
Roy, I don’t know what it is going to take to galvanize this community around this issue of our dangerous streets and the lack of leadership in this regard. But frankly, nothing else will be accomplished without a full on commitment to minimize the crime in Pottstown.
People here talk about it for a day or two after a shooting then it’s right back to the “ignorance is bliss” attitudes.
IT WILL NOT MATTER if we have the finest schools or the lowest taxes if we don’t get a grip on the crime we will not change this borough and our slide downhill is escalating each day that we do not meet this challenge head on.