When Turkey Hill comes to mind, most people think of flavorful ice cream and sweet iced tea. But in Wilkes-Barre, many mention the recent spike in robberies at the company’s stores before thinking of their signature snacks.
Since January 2014, city police have responded to at least 22 Turkey Hill robberies, 13 of which occurred in the last four months.
Frequent customers have not abandoned these stores, but some have questioned the safety during late-night hours.
Lisa Cummings of Mountain Top often visits the Turkey Hill on North Pennsylvania Avenue after work, but said she would probably not go to the store at 3 a.m.
Allentown City Council unanimously and enthusiastically confirmed Joel Fitzgerald’s nomination as the city’s new police chief.
Fitzgerald, 42, a veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, is the first minority to be named police chief.
“I feel like the arms of Allentown have opened up to me,” Fitzgerald said. “It’ll be a privilege to be part of the community here.”
Fitzgerald has been chief of police in Missouri City, Texas, since April 2009, and before that spent 18 years with the Philadelphia Police Department.
WILKES-BARRE — An upgrade to a fiber-optic connection improved the Hawkeye Security Solutions cameras in the Park & Lock East garage, said a member of the board of the nonprofit corporation overseeing the operation of the city’s surveillance system.
The switch from copper wire cost about $2,000 for hardware to make the connection, said Lou Lau, a Hawkeye board member and Wilkes-Barre city employee, at the board’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday. “The improvement there is fantastic,” Lau said.
The garage is located on the corner of North Washington and East Market streets, across from City Hall.
The Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority’s two other garages, Park & Lock Central and North, have wireless connections. The Intermodal garage, operated by the city, should have more than 60 cameras operational in another month.
Despite needing 174 officers this year and budgeting for 168, the Reading Police Department has fewer than 140 officers able to do their full jobs, Police Chief William M. Heim told City Council on Monday.
And the Reading Fire Department is down seven firefighters from its already pared force – a gap being filled by mandatory overtime because the firefighters are too tired to volunteer for it – acting Fire Chief Jeffrey Squibb said.
Mass retirements have plagued both departments, and council asked the chiefs what their needs were for the city’s safety. The question was partly a reaction to council’s earlier, grudging approval of two new hires for the mayor’s office.
Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up! Reading is being proactive on crime and blight! Make sure you read the rest of the article, especially Pottstown Borough Council and leadership!
City Council on Monday agreed to expand Reading’s security camera system, awarding a $650,000 contract to New York-based Let’s Think Wireless to add 20 or more cameras to the 27 the city already has.
Cameras in the first phase are mostly downtown, but the new cameras will be installed in other areas of the city, Police Chief William M. Heim said.
The new cameras also will connect wirelessly to City Hall monitoring stations, rather than via the fiber-optic links used by the current cameras.
“What we have so far has worked very well,” Heim said.
Summer is almost here, and you know what that means. Warm weather brings out the stupid and disruptive behaviors. But we’re not fighting this alone! We’ve literally got the law on our side! Let’s start small by reviewing the local ordinances that are abused on a daily basis. This month, let’s review and discuss the Pottstown Noise and Curfew Ordinance at our next meeting, Friday April 15, 2011.
Want to take a more pro-active role in crime prevention in Pottstown? Here is an opportunity to meet several members of the Pottstown Guardian Angels. They’ve been patrolling several nights a week for almost a month and are always looking for more people to participate.
- Meet the Pottstown Guardian Angels!
- Review the Pottstown Noise Ordinance-Shutting down the nonsense before it even starts.
- Up-coming Events:
- April 17- Female Safety Clinic – Pottstown Karate Club (21 N. Hanover St.)- 1 PM
- April 19- 1st day of Civilian Police Academy
- April 28- Community Meeting at Ricketts Center (Genesis Housing to discuss Mural Project amongst other topics– 7PM)
- May 21- Washington/Chestnut St. Garden Party- 10am-1pm
- June 4- Washington/Chestnut St. Science in the Park 12-3pm (Need Volunteers)
- July 23- Harris Family Ministries- Stop the Drug/Stop the Violence Crusade (More info to come.
Hope to see you Friday. It’s never too late to get involved!
Anna J. , Citizens For Pottstown’s Revitalization
The City of Pittsburgh and some adjacent suburbs are successfully using surveillance cameras to deter and solve crime.
Pittsburgh has surveillance cameras in place downtown and in various neighborhoods throughout the city. According to their 2009 Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Police, Annual Report, there are 120 cameras throughout the city they hope to tie-in to a wireless platform at the Emergency Operations Center and other key locations for constant monitoring of video and data transmissions.
Another goal is to have at least 32 cameras on 16 bridges. The mayor also wants to install gunshot locator and detection cameras in high-risk neighborhoods. (I believe Harrisburg uses these.)
Pittsburgh is adding 28 more cameras, using a $3 million grant along with 25 percent matching funds from the city, as part of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime program. Pittsburgh’s ultimate goal is a city-wide camera system, which includes the Port of Pittsburgh (the second largest inland port in the U.S.)
Surveillance cameras will be added in suburban Swissvale, prompted by a rash of crime in Regent Square. Three cameras will be installed along Braddock Avenue within two months. Ten to twelve more cameras will be added at other locations in the borough. Each camera costs $9,000, which includes installation, but there are grants available for municipalities to buy surveillance cameras.
Other communities with surveillance cameras include Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall.
Under Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh has experienced three consecutive years of historic-crime-lows, according to the city’s website. According to our friends at City-data.com, Pittsburgh’s crime index has dropped from 558.3 in 2007 to 474.8 in 2009 (Pottstown’s 2009 crime index was 454.7 if you live locally). Murders dropped from 72 in 2008 to 39 in 2009. Most crime categories showed drops between 2008 and 2009. 2010 crime data is not available at this time.
HINT: If the inexpensive crime tracking software Scranton purchased was used to determine surveillance camera placement that would seem to be an ideal crime fighting tool for Pottstown’s core neighborhood! Just sayin’….
A joint effort between Rutgers University students, the Camden District Council Collaborative Board and Angel Osorio, community justice director in the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is aimed at cleaning up and improving pubic safety in one of Camden’s most notorious neighborhoods.
North Camden is a crime-ridden neighborhood that needs a lot of help. Rutgers students have enrolled themselves in a class to replace burnt out street lights, remove graffiti and clean up 23 alleys. This is not a class for the faint of heart. Checking the street lights means driving around one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the county looking for burnt out street lights, in the dark.
In a twelve block area, 16 out of 47 street lights were out. Lighting up Camden will reduce crime. PSE&G is notified of the broken lights and tries to fix them as quickly as possible. The lighting project also includes finding funding so that residents can install and pay for porch lights (Fifth Ward Councilor Dan Weand has suggested this very idea for Pottstown). Unfortunately in Camden, street lights are vandalized according to PSE&G.
This class came about as a result of Rutgers officials working with community members who are trying to carry out the North Camden Neighborhood Plan. The class’s instructor, Lt. Daniel Howard, is a 24-year veteran of the Mount Laurel police department. Rutgers-Camden’s new chancellor, Wendell Pritchett, wants his campus to be a national model for a civically engaged university.
Rutgers new director of civic engagement, Andrew Seligshon stated Rutgers sees itself as an anchor institution in Camden. The university wants to attract good students and faculty members. North Camden residents want a safer, more attractive neighborhood and better schools. By partnering together, everybody wins!
I wish I had more than two thumbs to put up! Talk about teaching social responsibility! Awesome program and kudos to all involved.