Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson Gets Raise

The Camden County freeholders on Thursday approved a $66,800 raise for Metro Police Chief Scott Thomson, bringing his annual salary to $230,000.

Thomson’s new contract guarantees that he will stay in Camden until at least 2019, county spokesman Dan Keashen said Friday.

“This is about retaining one of the sharpest law enforcement minds in the country,” Keashen said.

No county funds are used for the operation of the Camden County Police Department, which is paid for by Camden City and the state.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150321_Camden_s_police_chief_receives__66_800_pay_increase.html#Zl2PFt58e6hq4eVd.99

In North Philly, Community Policing Is At Heart Of Crime Reduction

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

IT WAS ABOUT 8 o’clock Tuesday night, and the chilly, rain-soaked streets of North Philadelphia‘s 39th Police District were nearly empty as Officer Michael Levin’s Crown Vic crept across the blacktop.

But Levin, who usually works in bicycle patrol when weather and circumstances permit, was on the street anyway, keeping a watchful eye on the swaths of North Philadelphia, Nicetown, Germantown and East Falls that make up the district headquartered at 22nd Street and Hunting Park Avenue.

On this night, Levin, 28, a seven-year veteran who’s spent all those years in the 39th, reflected on community policing – a strategy favored by Capt. Michael Craighead, who took command of the district about a year ago.

“Bike patrol is really good for community relations. People come up and thank you. It’s a real good deterrent presence,” Levin said. “The community needs us and we need them.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131201_In_North_Philly__community_policing_is_at_heart_of_crime_reduction.html#fFp8Qh2QAz94K1YC.99

Former Reading Police Official To Head Norristown Department

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  It appears Norristown had its act together when it came to finding the most qualified candidate for their new police chief.   Notice they didn’t just move up the next guy in line.  Making these kinds of smart hiring decisions will help Norristown revitalize, making it safer for residents and more attractive to development.

Mark E. Talbot Sr., Reading’s former deputy police chief who left in 2011 to lead a state bureau, has been appointed police chief in Norristown, the seat of Montgomery County.

After an eight-month search, borough council appointed Talbot, 43, on Wednesday.

He’ll be sworn in Nov. 19 and will be paid $117,000.

“It’s a great place for me to be,” Talbot said Thursday of Norristown. “They have some challenges that I can be a part of making a whole lot better.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=518524

Reading Taps New Technology To Predict And Prevent Crime

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

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

It won’t replace city police officers’ intuition. It’s several techno-steps beyond the crime-mapping Reading has been doing for 30 years. It’s not criminal profiling.

And it’s not psychic.

But PredPol claims its software technology can tell police when and where the next crimes are likely to occur, within a few blocks.

“We are always seeking ways to improve our ability to fight crime in our city – in this case, preventing it before it happens,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said at a press conference Thursday. “This technology is a force multiplier.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=516734

Stealing Burglars’ Thunder: New Reading Police Unit Solving Crimes Fast

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up!!!

The dedicated burglary unit is in line with Chief William M. Heim’s crime reduction strategy, which relies on focused policing to do more with less manpower.

Serial burglars in Reading are feeling the heat due to the formation of a city police squad that specializes in investigating burglaries.

The squad was started in early March with the temporary transfer of two patrolmen to the criminal investigations division, said Sgt. John M. Solecki, who supervises the unit.

Solecki credited the burglary squad – consisting of officers James Kennedy and Christopher Bucklin – with two recent arrests of suspected serial burglars.

About two-dozen burglaries have been cleared as a result of those and other arrests, he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=482406

Spencer Unveils Bold Plan For Reading

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with Berks County courthouse on left; July 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer on Thursday outlined an ambitious agenda of more than a dozen initiatives, some already begun, to improve the finances and conditions of the city and its neighborhoods.

Speaking to several dozen people attending the Pennsylvania Economy League’s Issues Forum at the Berkshire Country Club in Bern Township, Spencer recounted his campaign themes and said: “Those are the promises; what people expect is performance.”

He then led the audience through a rapid-fire explanation of where the city is and where it’s planning to go in several key areas.

He said the city has set goals for each area and is requiring any department initiatives to match those goals, with their results to be measured.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=472999

Rutgers Students Pay It Forward On The Mean Streets Of North Camden

Camden

Image via Wikipedia

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.

West Reading, An Economic Success Story

Read this inspirational article about how West Reading transformed their stagnant downtown into a destination shopping area with 144 stores, restaurants and art galleries.

http://www.newpa.com/strengthen-your-community/success-stories/the-making-of-main-street/index.aspx