Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will host its 16th Biennial Criminal Justice and Public Safety Career Day on Tuesday, April 19, from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The event will be held at the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell.
The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a ceremony on the front steps of College Hall. During the ceremony, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele will present a “Medal of Valor” to a recipient from the law enforcement community. Recipients of this prestigious award are selected by the Police Chiefs’ Association of Montgomery County.
Following the ceremony, the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Career Day begins at 9 a.m. More than 50 organizations will participate, including representatives from municipal, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Employers and exhibitors from the private security sector, emergency medical response, the fire service and area emergency management agencies will also be on hand, as will representatives from area colleges and universities that offer transfer programs in law enforcement and public safety fields.
“The College’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Career Day directly serves the career interests of our students and also strengthens the relationship between Montgomery County Community College and the public safety community,” shared Benn Prybutok, MCCC’s director of protective services.
Exhibits will be stationed in the lobbies of Parkhouse Hall and the Advanced Technology Center, as well as the outdoor quad area, weather permitting. MCCC’s Central Campus is located at 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
The event is free of charge and is open to the public. Students from area high schools, as well as area colleges and universities, are encouraged to attend. For information, call 215-641-6428 or email email@example.com.
Blue Bell, Pa.—Rotary International Districts 7430 and 7450 will sponsor a Community Peace Forum on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The theme of the forum is “Building Safer Communities: Communities & Law Enforcement Working Together.” The event is open to the public; law enforcement officials, criminal justice faculty and students, and community peace activists are encouraged to attend.
The forum begins at 10 a.m. with a panel discussion in MCCC’s Science Theater, and continues with a luncheon and keynote address by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. The panel discussion, which runs 10 a.m.-noon, is free of charge; the luncheon and keynote, which run from 12:30-2 p.m., cost $20. To register, visit bit.ly/PHLPeaceForum2015.
Rotary’s Peace Forum will engage participants in discussions about creating improved and sustainable relationships between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve. The event is designed to facilitate positive change through open dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders.
During the first part of the program, panelists will discuss issues that include ensuring high quality encounters between police and citizens; strengthening police-citizen relationships at the neighborhood level; and mobilizing community capacity to play an active role in public safety. Rotarian Joseph Batory, of the Philadelphia Rotary Club, will moderate the panel.
Panelists include: Jennifer Wood, associate professor of criminal justice at Temple University; Keith Hodges, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church; DF Pace, Rotary peace scholar and Philadelphia Police Department lieutenant, heading the Department’s Law and Criminal Procedure section; and Jayden Sampson, instructor of criminal justice, Montgomery County Community College. The luncheon and keynote address follow the panel discussion.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges locally and globally. Rotary sponsor 6 Peace and Conflict Centers around the world where community members can be nominated for a Master’s Degree program or a professional program for training attendees in conflict resolution. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit rotary.org and rotarydistrict7430.org.
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.
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PATCO finally rolled out the first of its refurbished rail cars Thursday morning, with local officials promising the $194 million overhaul will mean new levels of comfort, safety and reliability for commuters who travel between South Jersey and Center City.
The rebuilt cars, with new interiors, electronics and heating systems, are more than a year late returning to service from a factory in Hornell, N.Y., because of persistent problems fine-tuning an automatic signal system that gives operating instructions to the trains.
All systems, including new visual and audio station announcements, appeared to work flawlessly Thursday on the first train’s inaugural trip from Woodcrest station in Cherry Hill to the subway stop at 8th and Market streets in Center City.
Allegiant Air pilots, who are locked in tense contract negotiations with the low-cost carrier, say they are worried about repeated safety problems with the carrier’s fleet, according to a report.
The carrier serves Lehigh Valley International Airport and maintains major hubs in Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and Las Vegas. The pilots authorized a strike last month but later agreed to stay on the job while a federal judge reviews arguments from their union and the airline’s management.
The pilots are now saying they’re concerned about mechanical problems with the airline’s fleet of older planes, poor maintenance and “a culture where profits come before safety,” according to a story published Monday on the New York Times website.
When Turkey Hill comes to mind, most people think of flavorful ice cream and sweet iced tea. But in Wilkes-Barre, many mention the recent spike in robberies at the company’s stores before thinking of their signature snacks.
Since January 2014, city police have responded to at least 22 Turkey Hill robberies, 13 of which occurred in the last four months.
Frequent customers have not abandoned these stores, but some have questioned the safety during late-night hours.
Lisa Cummings of Mountain Top often visits the Turkey Hill on North Pennsylvania Avenue after work, but said she would probably not go to the store at 3 a.m.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city’s bloody 2013 has placed it on a list of the Top 30 “Murder Capitals in America.”
The 13 homicides that took place in Wilkes-Barre made for the deadliest year in city history. The city was ranked 18th on the list.
NeighborhoodScout, an information website which compiles data on neighborhoods and cities throughout the country, used FBI numbers on homicides to create a list of cities with the highest murder rates. The report lists Wilkes-Barre as having 12 murders and does not include a case involving an accidental shooting, which the FBI classified as involuntary manslaughter.
The report says that until recently, major cities ranked among the dominating murder capitals, but this list is “populated mostly by middle-sized cities as well as smaller cities in close proximity to larger ones.”
Southwestern Pennsylvania has low unemployment, a plethora of high school and college graduates and relatively safe streets, but residents are more likely to smoke cigarettes and be overweight compared to a group other major U.S. metro areas, according to a University of Pittsburgh report released Wednesday.
The “2015 Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow Report” from Pitt’s University Center for Social and Urban Research compared 11 quality-of-life factors in Southwestern Pennsylvania to 14 other metro areas.
Researchers found that while the region “continues to be a national model for economic recovery and public safety, the region still has major deficiencies in overcoming issues related to the environment, infrastructure, public health, and other matters that are key to the quality of life for most Americans.”
WILKES-BARRE, PA — A large crowd looked on in council chambers Tuesday as 10 new city police officers were sworn in wearing suits and ties and shiny new badges, but the message was sobering.
“There will be challenging times and scary moments,” said Rev. J. Duane Gavitt, the police department’s chaplain.
Police Chief Robert Hughes said the new officers are beginning a new call to service.
“There will be late nights,” he said. “There will be middle of the night call-outs. You are prepared for this.”
Little more than a year after a botched demolition triggered a Center City building collapse that killed six, a demolition company took down nearly half a block of buildings in Philadelphia’s Fairmount section without obtaining the required permits, an Inquirer investigation has found.
While dismantling five buildings last spring, Ashaw Demolition of Oxford Circle also brought down a house that had been in a family for four generations without informing the owner, the owner contends in court documents.
And Ashaw used at least some of the unsafe and discredited techniques that caused the collapse at 22d and Market Streets, city inspectors said.
The demolition violated tough new rules the city adopted so the tragedy of the collapse would never be repeated, inspectors said.
The railroad cars involved in the fiery derailment in West Virginia on Monday were a newer model that was supposed to be safer than older tankers blamed in other oil train explosions.
The ruptured cars were built to specifications adopted by the railroad industry in 2011 amid criticism that older tankers were dangerously susceptible to puncture and a risk of explosion. Called CPC 1232 cars, they were also involved in an April 2014 derailment and explosion in Lynchburg, Va.
The specifications for the newer cars were issued by the Association of American Railroads, whose members include major freight carriers in North America. They came amid concerns that older models called DOT-111s, which still carry a majority of the crude oil shipped by rail, were unsafe.
CSX spokeswoman Melanie Cost today confirmed that the ruptured tankers that caught fire were CPC 1232 models.
When Philadelphia’s murder total fell to a historic low in 2013, officials believed it was no fluke.
Now, with 2014 at the same rate – and other violence also down – experts say the city is indeed getting safer.
With 248 slain, the toll is one above last year’s – and a 25 percent drop from 2012. But statistics show police in 2014 solved fewer killings than in 2013.
Overall, violent crime fell 7 percent.
LAFLIN, PA — The meeting of Laflin Borough Council devolved into chaos Monday night as four council members voted to immediately disband the police department and hire a consultant to liquidate the department’s property.
After hearing impassioned public comment against relying solely on state police to enforce the law in Laflin, a council majority voted to do just that, with Councilman Glen Gubitose the lone opposing vote.
The majority defended the move by saying the borough infrastructure is crumbling and in desperate need of repair after years of neglect. But that didn’t satisfy dozens of residents who showed up to voice their opposition to the move. As council members finished the vote, the room erupted in jeers and boos loud enough to drown out council members for the rest of the meeting.
Residents ordered to quiet down challenged council members to call the police.
York’s budget woes have set off a scramble to find ways to save positions in the departments that could face the deepest losses — police and fire — and triggered a whirlwind of questions about what would happen to the city if a balanced budget can come only at the cost of cutting public safety personnel.
Mayor Kim Bracey‘s budget, which she introduced Tuesday, would cut 46 positions in the police department and eight fire-fighting jobs, and would cut the city’s work force from 412 employees in 2014 to 315 next year, documents show. Bracey said she was faced with few options and asked community partners, legislators and the county for outside help.
As of Friday, “no one has knocked on the door,” she said.
She has called for union concessions. Bracey said she will meet with fire union President Fred Desantis on Monday, and the city already is in negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police. Police union president Mike Davis said he is “committed” to reaching an agreement before the end of the year.
Hours after York Mayor Kim Bracey outlined her proposal to dramatically reduce the city’s work force, including deep cuts to public safety forces, in order to close an anticipated $7 million budget gap, public backlash began.
“I’m ashamed for the city,” said James Waughtel during public comment at a City Council meeting Tuesday night, calling the potential loss of police and fire personnel “extremely devastating.”
Members of the fire union also lined the council chambers to listen as Bracey presented her plan to council members.
Gunmen targeted three victims in two apparently unrelated incidents Monday after a “pretty violent” week around the city that left some residents fearing for their lives.
A Pittsburgh sanitation worker was shot to death in his car Monday morning as he prepared to begin his route. Less than five hours later, two masked gunmen chased two victims on the streets of Glen Hazel in full view of neighbors, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition. A Chicago man was shot in the face and killed Saturday night in Beltzhoover. Arlington Heights was the scene of two daylight shootings Saturday and Sunday that wounded four.
Police are treating the incidents as unrelated, said Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.
“Right now, there’s no reason to believe they’re connected,” Toler said. She described the past week as “pretty violent” and said the people involved in most of the shootings participated in “undesirable activities.”
The company managing the Sherman Hills apartment complex has no plans now to put up a guard house or around-the-clock armed security, said city council members this week.
Council members Bill Barrett and George Brown met in July with John VanMetre, director of property management at The Aspen Companies, a sister company of Treetop Development, the facility’s owners. Barrett and Brown are members of a group organized by Congressman Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, looking at living conditions at the apartments.
“We have recommendations, not just cameras and fencing. I think we do need a guard system and to have people there who are monitors. I feel that’s something that’s necessary,” Brown said.
“The bottom line is I feel there’s a need to more closely monitor who’s there,” Barrett said. “There are problems still occurring, still continuing. I think they need to seriously consider having an armed security presence there to make it a safer place. That should be the objective, to make a safe living place for residents of the development. The only way you can do that is to make sure people who aren’t supposed to be there are not there.”
COURTHOUSE — The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department will be randomly sending up to three motorcycle-riding deputies to different parts of the Schuylkill River Trail to provide an extra level of security to trail users.
“We just want the people to know that those trails are a jewel to Montgomery County. They are used by thousands and thousands of people every year. Fortunately there are very little problems up there, but I’m all about preventing problems rather than trying to figure them out afterwards,” Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono said on Friday.
Bono said when he was the Norristown chief of police he did the same thing to protect trail users in the Norristown section of the trail.
“Now that I have a countywide position, our cycles are able to ride the entire trail,” he said.