Blair County Representatives Visit Reading

If law enforcement leaders can lay out a clear-cut strategy to reduce drug and gang activity in Reading and Berks County, there is a good chance businesses will be willing to pay for some of it.

That was the feeling of Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Thursday after she and other area leaders got a rundown of how a business-fueled crime-fighting program has succeeded in Blair County.

“In our community, it would be helpful to have the business community step up, if we developed some strategies and expected outcomes,” Horan said.

The nonprofit program, Operation Our Town, was started by business leaders in Blair County to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=454375

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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

Crime Stats For Reading Give Some Solace

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

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

A week before a summit to address crime in Reading and Berks County, District Attorney John T. Adams pointed out that Reading is not on a list of the 100 most dangerous cities in the nation.

“This is good news,” Adams said Friday. “We are happy that we are not on the list of the most dangerous cities. I believe this is a result of the cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies.”

But officials said that does not lessen the need for next week’s meeting because the report from NeighborhoodScout.com indicates that 89 percent of the cities are safer than Reading.

“I do not see this as any great win,” Reading Police Chief William M. Heim said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=443204

Chamber Of Commerce President Joins Call For Reading Crime Summit

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

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

While multiple independent efforts push toward scheduling a crime summit for Reading – including a pre-summit planning session set for Monday in the offices of state Sen. Judy Schwank – business executives are casting votes on the city’s tarnished image with their feet.

New executives hired by Berks companies are choosing to live in Chester or Montgomery counties, preferring greater proximity to Philadelphia, according to Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  Horan, citing conversations with officials at Berks companies, said the perception of the city as crime-infested is repelling executive talent.

“The summit is a great idea,” Horan said. “I would like to see a little more urgency.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=434050

Reading Crime Summit Ideas

Attacking crime in Reading will take more than law enforcement and government officials sitting down for a meeting, community leaders said Tuesday in response to a call by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. for a crime summit in August.

State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, a Reading Democrat, said more police officers would help, but money is not likely to be readily available from the state or federal governments because of their budget situations.

So the key to success will be getting parents to take responsibility for their children and schools to provide more athletic and educational activities for youths, he said.

Representatives from faith-based organizations, fraternal and social groups and businesses must be at the table, Caltagirone said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=405208