The FBI has announced that the Charleston shooter has been captured and is in police custody. Dylann Roof was captured in Shelby, NC according to news sources. He is accused of killing 9 people, including the church’s Pastor Sen. Clementa Pinckney, during a prayer service at historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC Wednesday night. The shooting is being classified as a hate crime, which is a federal offense.
Editor’s note: The difference is that when Norristown searches for new employees, they actually hire the best qualified people instead of just moving people up and perpetuating the same bad policies like Pottstown (under the guise that Pottstown is so complicated nobody could come in and “figure it out” in less than a couple years). Sorry, new ideas are needed. Congrats to Norristown for being proactive and embracing change. Apparently, it’s working!
Pottstown and Norristown are the two largest urban areas in Montgomery County and share many of the same challenges, particularly when it comes to crime.
In the wake of the wave of violence in Pottstown which culminated in last month’s arrests of more than 30 people involved in an apparent gang war, a community meeting about crime was held recently in Norristown that focused on what police and authorities are doing now, and how citizens can help.
Norristown Police Chief Mark Talbot Sr. has been asking that question since he took over leadership of that department two years ago, and he’s starting to see answers get results.
In the last two years, major crimes in Norristown have dropped by 20 percent.
Another meeting with Assistant D.A.’s Kevin Steele and Jason Whalley is set up for June 1st, Pottstown Borough Hall, 100 E. High Street, 3rd floor at 7PM
THE LAST TURN OUT WAS FANTASTIC. LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN.
Hopefully we will have another great turnout with an active audience.
I would really like to focus in on additional things that the DA/PPD can be doing to help the residents with their efforts.
• A willingness to pursue property forfeiture (landlords renting to drug dealers and other criminals in Pottstown)
• A standardized form for recording and reporting suspicious/criminal activity if there are any other items that you are aware of or that any people that you have been speaking to think we should be pushing for, please comment or message us.
This is a form that we think could be a good choice for Pottstown. When details matter there needs to be a good reporting method for crime.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — The five mayoral candidates sat before about 200 citizens Monday evening in the ballroom of Wilkes University’s Henry Student Center to lay out their platforms and answer questions on their plans if elected.
The Wilkes-Barre Downtown Residents Association, a nonpartisan organization, held the two-hour long forum, the first of which to bring all city mayoral candidates together before the public. Eileen Kenyon, coordinator for DRA, said the association sponsored the event to give people in the area a chance to come and listen to what the candidates had to say.
“We have to elect a mayor, and we hope this will let them make an informed decision,” she said.
Each candidate gave a brief opening statement before association members moderated a question-and-answer session during which they broached such topics as unpaid pensions of city employees, how to attract wage-earning residents, their assessments of city hall and city resources, and crime.
KINGSTON, PA — A year-long investigation of street-level illegal drug sales resulted in the arrest warrants for 18 people on Thursday.
Teams of undercover drug agents with the state Office of Attorney General and Luzerne County Drug Task Force and police in Edwardsville and Kingston swept the West Side serving arrest warrants at many residences, including one in Wilkes-Barre, beginning at 7 a.m.
As of late Thursday afternoon, 13 people were in custody.
After having their pictures and fingerprints taken at the Kingston Police Department, those arrested were taken one-by-one to be arraigned by District Judge Paul J. Roberts on drug trafficking offenses.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller and Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono announce a warrant sweep leading to numerous arrests.
On April 23, 2015, Pottstown Police spearheaded a warrant sweep in the Pottstown area. The following agencies also participated in the sweep: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery County Detectives Bureau, Pennsylvania State Parole, Montgomery County Adult Probation and Pottstown Borough Code Enforcement.
Twenty people were arrested during the sweep. The sweep also led to a search warrant, which law enforcement served at 25 North Franklin Street, Apartment 309. The search revealed crack cocaine, marijuana, cash, and two firearms. The guns that were located were a .22 caliber Intratech handgun and a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun. Ammunition for both guns was also located during the search.
Additional marijuana, paraphernalia, and cash were seized during the arrests.
The following people (20) are charged with offenses:
Darryl Branch Jr. – Felony Drug Charges
Aurice Andrews – Felony Drug Charges
Devon Vogelsang – Felony Drug Charges
Christopher Saunders – Felony Drug Charges
Barry Moore – Felony Drug Charges
Ryan Hildebrand – Felony Drug Charges
Darryl Sutton – Robbery / Montgomery County Probation Detainer
Bryson Bridges – Robbery
Stacey Bowers – Chester County Bench Warrant
Daniel Ledford – Berks County Bench Warrant
Ebony Womack – Philadelphia Bench Warrant
Spencer Kinyanjui – DUI Warrant / Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Dustin Duval – Drug Charges / Montgomery County Probation Detainer
James Lewis – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Brandon Wade – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
David McCorkle – Drug Charges / Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Damien Cody – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
JUVENILE – Robbery
Jared Santos – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Lushan Goodlett – Felony Drug Charges
Pottstown PD and other law enforcement agencies are currently looking for twelve additional people for felony warrants for drug trafficking. These warrants are the result of a several month-long investigation into street level drug sales in the Pottstown area. The following people are wanted by the Pottstown Police. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact Pottstown Police at 610-970-6570.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office will work with Monroeville police to reduce drug activity and violent crime in the eastern suburbs, officials said Thursday.
Drug activity in Monroeville has increased in the past six or seven years as Pittsburgh police efforts pushed drug sales out of Homewood and into nearby suburbs, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said.
“In a relatively short period of time, I think we can knock those numbers down,” Zappala said at a news conference in the Monroeville municipal building.
Police are monitoring the movement of narcotics in Monroeville’s business districts, he said. His office and other law enforcement agencies plan to work with Monroeville police to refocus the department’s efforts to monitor certain areas of the municipality.
More than a dozen young males and females have been sentenced for their roles in a spree of Lancaster home burglaries and thefts in 2013.
The group, 14 people in all, targeted city homes with residents asleep inside during the three-month spree.
They stole cash, credit cards, and cars.
Their ages, roles and sentences varied, with the youngest being a 15-year-old girl and the oldest a 20-year-old man.
Pittsburgh police are trying to identify a group of about 30 people who donned masks and ran through Shadyside on Friday night, smashing the windows of more than a half-dozen businesses and an unknown number of automobiles.
There were no injuries in the vandalism spree that began shortly after 8:40 p.m., when police first spotted the group, marching peacefully near Liberty Avenue and Baum Boulevard in Bloomfield, holding candles and telling officers they were holding a funeral procession for a friend, city Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
A few minutes later, there was chaos a few blocks away as the group turned onto Walnut Street and marched past the shops and restaurants filled with patrons.
“I saw a group of nine or 10 guys. I couldn’t see their faces because they all were wearing hoodies,” said Miranda Leanos, 18, a waitress at the Thai Place Restaurant.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — The topic won’t fizzle out.
Another city council meeting saw yet another gauntlet of pleas from concerned citizens about Wilkes-Barre’s recent rash of violence.
Council members spent most of Thursday’s hour-long meeting assuring residents that police and city administration were doing everything within their power to squash a three-week-long crime wave that produced six shootings, two deaths and six other injuries.
Council Chairman Mike Merritt conceded things will get worse before they get better.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Dominick Meininger told police he’s no snitch.
Meininger, 19, allegedly admitted to stealing wine and prescription medications from an apartment at Interfaith Heights after the tenant was found dead in the residence on March 10. But Meininger, of East Northampton Street, denied he had stolen jewelry and a television, according to charges filed.
Meininger was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Martin Kane on charges of burglary, possessing instruments of crime and theft. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $20,000.
The alleged burglary was not the first incident involving Meininger at Interfaith Heights on Coal Street.
POTTSTOWN, PA – Police departments in the Pottstown area are planning to intensify efforts to enforce DUI and alcohol related crimes.
The multi-jurisdictional DUI enforcement team plans to conduct at least one sobriety checkpoint operation within the next week, according to a press release from Pottstown Police. The effort is aimed at reducing the number of DUI related accidents by deterring potential drunk drivers.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Citing a “crisis of lawlessness,” former Police Chief Tony George on Monday pressed Mayor Thomas Leighton to restore law and order to the city of Wilkes-Barre in the wake of one of its most vicious weekends to date.
George, a city councilman and Democratic candidate for Wilkes-Barre mayor, urged Leighton in a press release to address the state of public safety by implementing citywide saturation patrols with an emphasis in “the most troubled neighborhoods,” including South Wilkes-Barre, North End and the Heights.
Over six days, two people have been killed and five others seriously injured in five separate shootings.
Show of force
During a press conference at police headquarters Monday afternoon, Leighton said patrols have been ongoing since 2013 and will continue as long as there is violent crime in Wilkes-Barre.
Editor’s note: Alas, Pottstown leadership doesn’t seem to get this concept. Two thumbs up to Norristown leadership for being proactive and thinking outside of the box. We like what we are seeing.
NORRISTOWN, PA – Police are called with increasing frequency for complaints about a homeless man with mental health issues. A boy who lives in a household familiar to authorities for domestic issues has started skipping school and breaking curfew. An unemployed mother of three with no previous criminal record is arrested for drug possession.
These are examples of bad situations that many law enforcement officials agree often get worse.
But what if that was not necessarily the case? What if police and other public health and safety professionals collaborated on these cases using a comprehensive strategy that enabled them to mitigate risk factors and intervene to address small infractions before they snowball into larger ones, effectively reducing and preventing crime?
That is the goal of the Whole of Government concept, presented at the 2015 International Conference on Proven Collaborative Strategies for Improved Community Wellness and Safety recently held at the King of Prussia Radisson and conducted by the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute (PSJSI). The concept, which has a proven track record of success in Canada, is being implemented by a small number of forward-thinking law enforcement agencies in the U.S., including Norristown.
Blue Bell, Pa.— Thirty-one cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy Class 1404 on March 25 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
The cadets took on a special project during their 22-week program at the academy: raising funds for the Chester County Angel Trust through DNB First Wealth Management to help six-year-old abuse victim Ryan McMillian rebuild his life. During a guest lecture at the academy, Chester County Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei shared details surrounding the 2014 murder of Ryan’s three-year-old brother Scotty McMillian, prompting the cadets to take action.
During the ceremony, Cadet Sarah Couch, Royersford, presented Frei and attorney Skip Persick, who oversees the trust, with a check for $3,000. According to Persick, the money will ultimately be used for McMillian’s education expenses to “create a career for this young man.”
Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks, led the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the formal portion of the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Emergency Management and Planning programs Benn Prybutok. Cadet Daniel Mease, Bethlehem, served as color bearer.
Parkesburg Borough Police Department Chief Brian Sheller was selected by class 1404 to give the keynote address, during which challenged the cadets to “make a difference” in the communities they serve.
“Police are many things to many people in their times of need. Treat everyone with dignity and respect,” shared Sheller, who is also an instructor at the Academy.
Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Department of Public Safety First Deputy Director Jesse Stemple were also in attendance, along with representatives from Abington, Bethlehem, Falls Township, and Upper Merion Township police departments. From MCCC, Dr. Aaron Shatzman, dean of social sciences, and Suzanne Holloman, dean of workforce development, assisted with certificate confirmation.
Earning the highest GPA in his class, Cadet James Reilly, Chalfont, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates. He described impact of the moment when, as a group, the cadets’ focus shifted from individual success to class success.
“It was about being better as a class, and successful as a class,” he shared, before thanking the academy’s leadership, faculty, family and friends for their support.
Interim Municipal Police Academy Director Jude McKenna presented a series of awards as part of the ceremony. Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken, received the Platoon Leader Award of Merit. Cadet Tori Adams, Langhorne, received the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award, presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004. And the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork, went to Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia.
Cadets from class 1404 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Cadet Cpl. Kevin Adams, Horsham; Tori Adams, Langhorne; Cadet Ssgt. John Beck, Hatboro; Alex Beres, Schwenksville; Mark Borkowski, Blue Bell; Cadet Sgt. Patrick Brehm, Bethlehem; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Chonko, Upper Black Eddy; Sarah Couch, Royersford; Jose Cruz, Warrington; Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks; Madeline Elgazzar, Blue Bell; Bradley Guldin, Royersford; John Krchnavy, Hellertown; Carl Kruse, Glenside; Samantha Lehman, Perkasie; Cadet Cpl. Ronald MacPherson, Langhorne; Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken; Daniel Mease, Bethlehem; Reinaldo Melendez, West Chester; Ryan Melley, Ridgefield Park, N.J.; Nicholas Phillips, Reading; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Prior, Harleysville; James Reilly, Chalfont; Patrick Rooney, Philadelphia; John Sands, Warminister; Cadet Ssgt. Erik Schwab, Bensalem; cadet Sgt. Joshua VanHorn, Brookhaven; Nicholas Windfelder, Quakertown; Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia; Cody Young, Sellersville; and Darrien Zivkovic, Hatboro.
Montgomery County Community College, in conjunction with the state training commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken.
The academy has been the training ground for more than 3,500 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 800-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies.
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.
HARRISBURG — Col. Marcus Brown, Gov. Tom Wolf’s choice to lead the state police, has served as a patrol officer, a SWAT commander and the second-in-command of the Baltimore police.
He has led the Maryland Transportation Authority and the Maryland State Police.
But since his swearing-in on the day of Mr. Wolf’s inauguration, a group of retired troopers has taken exception to his decision to don the gray uniform of the Pennsylvania State Police.
They post on a Facebook page created to protest his wearing of the uniform, and encourage others to contact state senators, who must confirm Col. Brown, 50, as state police commissioner. In interviews, retired troopers said their questions are not limited to the uniform but extend to other issues, such as an association with then-Gov. Martin O’Malley’s push for gun-control measures. (Col. Brown has said he supports the Second Amendment and that there are no firearm proposals on the Pennsylvania agenda.)
When Wawa employees told Terron Reed his order couldn’t be prepared as requested, he apparently didn’t take the news too well.
Instead of adjusting his meal, the 36-year-old Bear, Del., man threw a coffee display stand at a worker, then tried to strangle her, threw her to the ground, and threatened to shoot other employees before leaving the convenience store, according to Delaware State Police.
Police said the bizarre altercation happened at the Wawa at 1400 Beaverbrook Plaza in New Castle about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURTHOUSE – The District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced charges against a state trooper accused of accidently shooting and killing another state trooper during a firearms training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus in September 2014.
State Police Corporal Richard Schroeter, 42, of Royersford, is being charged with five counts of recklessly endangering another person that led to the death of 26-year-old state trooper David Kedra.
The charges come after the Montgomery County grand jury heard testimony in the case. The grand jury recommended the charges.
The release states the grand jury did not find enough evidence showing that Schroeter “consciously disregarded human life” and did not recommend he be charged with involuntary manslaughter.