Reading / Berks Crime Summit Initiatives Still Moving Ahead, Leaders Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

More than six months after a meeting of 100-plus public and private leaders put a sharp focus on curtailing crime in Reading and Berks County, initiatives spawned at the Jan. 18 crime summit remain active.

One of them, the formation of a joint law-enforcement intelligence committee, is a topic that Berks District Attorney John T. Adams did not want to discuss in detail, other than to say that meetings have been held.

But Adams and others provided progress reports on other crime summit initiatives.  They were cobbled together during the unique gathering at Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing, that involved federal and state lawmakers, Gov. Tom Corbett, county officials and leading business people.

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Nonprofit Group Forming To Reduce Crime In Reading Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Berks County and the City of Reading for tackling crime head on!

A Reading law firm has begun paperwork to form a new nonprofit group to focus on crime initiatives in much the same way that a private group did in the Altoona area.

The move comes after a January crime summit in which Gov. Tom Corbett urged local leaders to study a Blair County program called Operation Our Town, which was started by business leaders to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Daniel B. Huyett, a partner in the Reading law firm Stevens & Lee, said Wednesday that the group will be incorporated as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

That decision was made at a meeting this week among Berks County business leaders with Michael A. Fiore, owner of an Altoona construction company who started Operation Our Town in Blair County after a series of shootings there.

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Governor Seen As Key To Reading Crime Summit

Editor’s note:  While you are at it, include Pottstown.  The crime rate is just as bad as Reading!

As Berks County residents digest the latest spate of violence in Reading, retailer Albert R. Boscov has taken center stage in the protracted effort to pull together a crime summit.

Boscov said Wednesday that it was crucial for both federal and state officials – preferably Gov. Tom Corbett – to take part in the proposed group discussion of Reading’s crime problems.  He said both U.S. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey have agreed to take part and that he was working to secure Corbett’s participation.

“I think he will come,” Boscov said.

A spokeswoman for Corbett said Wednesday night that he had not been invited to a summit but was open to the concept.

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Sen. Bob Casey Jr.’s Letter to U.S. Attorney General Cites Reading’s Status As Dangerous Place, Cocaine Hub

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (...

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: Thank you Senator Casey! Cleaning up Reading will help Pottstown, which is the biggest victim of the drug traffic between Reading and Philadelphia! Bring on the big guns!!!!

Plans for a summit in August to identify strategies for fighting crime in Reading began moving forward Monday, when U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. urged Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to allow their staffs to figure out what role the federal government should play.

Casey said he expects Holder to respond within a few days.

Reading isn’t the only community facing crime-fighting challenges, but the problem seems to be more pronounced and showing a sharper trend than other communities, Casey said.

The federal, state and county governments need to help because the city can’t deal with it alone, he said.

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