LARKSVILLE, PA — A police chief’s “welcome” letter targeting a suspected drug den and prostitution house on Murray Street has apparently accomplished its goal.
The tenant, a younger woman, hasn’t been seen since, neighbors say. The constant vehicle traffic from a stream of visitors immediately ceased, they say. And the landlord quickly issued an eviction notice.
Larksville police Chief John Edwards last week delivered the strongly-worded letter to the 10 homes on Murray Street, but most on the small block knew who it was meant for: the tenant of 39 Murray St. and all her visitors.
Edwards vowed to zero in on the people suspected of illegal activity until they “are arrested and imprisoned, or leave Larksville Borough.”
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!