Joining Forces Regional Approach To Policing Effective But Not Easy

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

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

There’s a certain charm to a small-town police force such as Chief Richard Leisey Sr.’s department in Mohnton.

“Our residents like to see our car,” he said. “With a small department, we know the people who are in town, who they are, where they live.”

Like a number of other Berks County police chiefs, Leisey fears that personal touch would fade if his department joined a regional police force.

But as budget cuts force small departments to work fewer hours, cut officers or even disband, the idea of a regional force is looking better and better to Leisey.

“We would have 24/7 (local coverage) again,” he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=450019

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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

Proposed Budget Hikes Berks Property Taxes For 1st Time In 8 Years

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Berks County property taxes would increase for the first time in eight years under a proposed $462 million budget for 2013 presented to the Berks County commissioners Thursday.

If the budget would be adopted as it stands, annual taxes would rise by 6.3 percent to 7.372 mills from 6.935 mills, or $43.70 annually on a property assessed at $100,000.

The spending plan represents a $2.8 million decrease from the current year’s budget.

The tax increase would raise about $7.7 million, Budget Director Robert J. Patrizio Jr. said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=428418

Berks County Likely To Be Among Hardest-Hit Inland Areas

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

High winds and heavy rains leading to power outages and flooding are expected to slam Berks County today as residents endure the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.

Berks will likely be among the hardest-hit inland areas, and officials urged residents to prepare for the worst.

“This storm has not been overhyped,” Berks County Commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach said today.  “It will have significant impact.”

Leinbach said residents should have up to three days of food and supplies should there be widespread power outages.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=423954