Arresting Regionalization Figures Aired

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

DUPONT, PA – There was good news and bad news, depending on where you live.

A regional police study was presented Thursday night to municipal officials from Avoca, Dupont, Duryea, Hughestown, Laflin and Jenkins Township.

If you live in Laflin, the borough could save nearly $200,000 a year by joining a regional police department. If you cross the border into Jenkins Township, the cost is well over $100,000 more each year, according to the study.

Ron Stern of the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services and Joseph L. Kirschner, on speakerphone from Naples, Fla., detailed a 42-page report outlining current staffing and costs, and a plan for a unified force.

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Graziano Reviews Scranton Police Department’s Goals For 2013

Editor’s note:  Imagine that.  Goals, leadership, a positive attitude from the top down AND a concern for the quality of life of city residents.  Hmmmmm… is this too good to be true?  Does this actually happen in the real world?   I can think of a borough that could use an infusion of Chief Graziano’s I love my job attitude.  It’s obvious that everybody doesn’t love their job, especially when they make really awful comments about they town they work in.  Just sayin….

Acting Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano has a plan in mind for the city Police Department in 2013.  Some ideas build upon a foundation laid by previous programs and chiefs; others completely new.

The mentality he is bringing during his first full year as police chief is simple: help his officers do their job by getting them the best community support and equipment possible.

“I believe we have a lot of good quality officers here,” Chief Graziano said.  “One of my main goals is you’ve got to give the people below you the tools to do their jobs.”

The first goal is to continue and improve upon the community partnership by offering more proactive neighborhood policing with two new beat cop positions created solely for patrolling and addressing quality-of-life issues for residents.

Limerick Township Budget To Fund More Police

Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County

Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LIMERICK — Township residents will see their taxes increase slightly this year as the board of supervisors voted to approve the proposed budget with no changes.

Although taxes will increase 25 percent, as they did in 2012, the raise is actually less than half a mill.  The rate went from 1.516 mills to 1.895, meaning a property in the township assessed at $150,000 would have a year-total tax increase of $56.85.

The $8,010,752 budget was approved 3-1 at a Dec. 18 meeting.  Thomas J. Neafcy Jr. was the sole vote against the budget. Kenneth J. Sperring Jr. was not at the meeting, according to township manager Dan Kerr.

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Birdsboro Faces $114,000 Deficit As Tax Revenue Drops

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

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

Police Chief Theodore R. Roth spent most of Monday night’s Birdsboro Borough Council meeting silently staring at a copy of the 2013 budget spreadsheet.

But after more than 90 minutes of listening to council discuss how to balance next year’s $1.85 million budget, Roth could no longer keep quiet about rumors that his department was going to be downsized.

“I hear you’re facing two options, both of which are not very palatable,” he told council. “I’m asking what are those options but it seems like no one is willing to say it in public.”

Roth said his officers had heard that council discussed cutting an officer during recent executive sessions.

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31 New Police Officers Are Now On Pittsburgh’s Streets

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fifty-eight-year-old Dennis Ammer spent five years driving a Port Authority bus, so his first police chase behind the wheel of a squad car was a thrilling change of pace.

“You’re going fast and trying to be aware of traffic, and you’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Officer Ammer said. “It’s sort of an adrenaline rush.”

Affectionately called “Pops” by his fellow recruits, Officer Ammer was by 20 years the oldest “rookie” sworn onto Pittsburgh’s police force Thursday, an iron worker-turned-bus-driver-turned cop.

City officers can only stay on the job until they turn 65.

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Pottstown’s Crime Rate Is A CRIME!

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I have been harping away on this subject for a very long time.  This article is further evidence of the SERIOUS problem that is keeping Pottstown from moving forward!  The current Chief of Police and Council President should hang their heads in shame.  To think the Chief of Police makes $100,000 (taxpayer funded) and gets these flabbergasting results should make every resident of Pottstown furious!

Pottstown, PA Crime Rate Among Highest in State

“Within Pennsylvania, more than 98% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Pottstown.”

A recent Patch poll asked Pottstown residents what keeps Pottstown from success. With crime ranking among the top concerns, it is worth taking a closer look at just how bad crime is in Pottstown. The results are quite disturbing.

It is important to note that crime is split into two categories – property crime and violent crime. The measure of each is a number of crimes for every 1,000 residents. Property crime consists of burglary, theft, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Violent crime consists of murder, rape, non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.

According to NeighborhoodScout, a highly ranked real estate search website – “Pottstown has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes.”

Please read the rest of the eye-opening article:


City Of Reading Needs More Cops, Police Chief Warns

Despite needing 174 officers this year and budgeting for 168, the Reading Police Department has fewer than 140 officers able to do their full jobs, Police Chief William M. Heim told City Council on Monday.

And the Reading Fire Department is down seven firefighters from its already pared force – a gap being filled by mandatory overtime because the firefighters are too tired to volunteer for it – acting Fire Chief Jeffrey Squibb said.

Mass retirements have plagued both departments, and council asked the chiefs what their needs were for the city’s safety. The question was partly a reaction to council’s earlier, grudging approval of two new hires for the mayor’s office.

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Pottstown – Crime vs. Revitalization

Pottstown had a murder this week.  Based on information found in the newspaper, the home is owned by a company in Exton.  Enough said.

I have been quiet about crime lately because I feel it falls on deaf ears.  However, if we think people don’t investigate crime rates before deciding to relocate to a specific community we would be naïve.  That goes for business as well.  We keep talking about how Pottstown is going to revitalize but it’s not happening.  A great big problem aka the elephant in the room is the crime rate and the horrible reputation this community has in the outside world.  Yes, life does exist beyond the borough lines and people do pay attention to what happens here.  An UGG BOOTS ban in the Pottstown Middle School made the national news.

Pottstown’s crime rate went up drastically between 2009 and 2010.  Our score rose from 456.6 to 535.6.  The U.S. average is 319.1.  Pottstown’s crime rate is significantly higher (BAD).  As a matter of fact, it was higher than many of the largest cities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2010.  Yes, you read that correctly!

City                                Population       Crime Index

Allentown, PA             118,032 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 476.5 (2010)

Bethlehem, PA              74,982 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 236.1 (2010)

Lancaster, PA               59,433 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 519.4 (2010)

York, PA                        44,718 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 582.4 (2010)

Scranton, PA                76,089 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 275.4 (2010)

Philadelphia, PA      1,526,006 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 567.7 (2010)

Pittsburgh, PA             305,704 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 411.3 (2010)

Erie, PA                      101,786 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 347.4 (2010)

Reading, PA                 88,082 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 548.3 (2010)

Harrisburg, PA              49,528 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 721.6 (2010)

POTTSTOWN, PA         22,377 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index535.6 (2010)

I find this evidence both appalling and disgraceful.  Pottstown was the 74th largest municipality in Pennsylvania as of the 2010 census.  We should not have higher crime than six of the major cities in this state.  We are below Philadelphia and Reading, but not by much! Harrisburg is evidently in a class by itself!

My point being, this information is very easy to find.  Millions of people use sites like to research communities before moving to or investing in them.  So borough leadership, what exactly is the game plan to correct Pottstown’s out of control crime problem?  Ignoring the problem is not a solution!

Somebody better get a clue, like yesterday!

The Brick House Versus The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority

It never ceases to amaze me how The Fishwrap inserts itself into Pottstown’s affairs.  There is a fine line between reporting the news and “creating” the news.

The most recent article about the dispute between PDIDA and Brick House owner Dave Walsh is a sterling example of taking a bad situation and making it worse, under the guise of “the public has a right to know”.  The article is slanted in favor of PDIDA and against one of the most successful merchants downtown.  It paints an unflattering picture of Dave Walsh.

I have read the study on the use of opera and classical music to remove vagrants from business districts.  I agree it was worth a try.  I also understand business owners have a right to their opinion, even if that opinion disagrees with PDIDA.  Without business owners there would be no PDIDA.  Frankly, downtown Pottstown is in the worst shape I have ever seen it; since moving here in 1983.  Antagonizing and bad-mouthing Dave Walsh is spitting in the face of one of the few reasons to even go downtown.

I interviewed Dave Walsh a while back and found him to be one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met.  He answered all my questions, he was forthright, polite, genuine in his desire to help Pottstown and was a pleasure to talk with.  It was the first conversation I ever had with him.  He was a wealth of information.  Instead of pissing him off, maybe PDIDA should pick his brain and find out why and how he is so successful!  He readily shared that information with me.

As for Bonnie trying to mediate this “crisis” I LOL!  Bonnie is firmly on the side of PDIDA, or should I say her agenda. 

Andrew Monastra had the only sensible comments that were reported.  And trust me Andrew, you are right on when you say Dave has valid points which are not personally driven.  Dave Walsh could be a great asset to PDIDA.  He is already a great asset to Pottstown.

As for the loitering problem downtown…we do have a police department, don’t we???  We have laws on the books.  As usual we don’t use our existing tools to solve problems.  The only way to turn Pottstown around is to clean it up.  The police department is a key part of the equation.  Playing opera only keeps undesirables away while the music is playing.  We need to send a clear message that we will not tolerate this behavior on our streets and that can only be done by enforcing the law.  Private citizens can not do that.

I really do applaud PDIDA for trying something.  Sometimes things do not work, for a variety of reasons, and we need to regroup and move on.  Demonizing Dave Walsh is neither productive nor proper.  Dave is not the problem here.  You should extend an olive branch and tap into what Dave knows.