Saturday, May 30, 2015
Crime Meeting set for Monday
Residents concerned about crime in Pottstown will have another opportunity to discuss those concerns with police and representatives of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Activist and former council president David Garner has arranged for another meeting like the first one held in February.
It is scheduled for Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers meeting room on the third floor of borough hall and is open to the public.
Jason Whalley, who heads up the DA’s drug task force, has again agreed to attend, as have representatives of the borough police department Garner told The Mercury.
“We want to give both the DA and the police department the opportunity to talk about what they are doing — to the extent they will talk about that — and to tell the residents, in detail, what they can do to help the crime/nuisance fighting effort,” Garner wrote in an email.
One major development that has occurred since that last meeting, was the May 14 announcement of 34 arrests as part of an ongoing gang war that had been going on in Pottstown and accounted for a whole string of shooting incidents stretching back six months or more.
Another 13 individuals are still at large and being sought by authorities and the investigation is continuing.
Also since the February meeting, the police department has begun to use its Facebook page more extensively, seeking the public’s help in finding suspects, as well as announcing recent arrests.
The medium is also being used to acknowledge the role residents tips play in solving particular crimes, an acknowledgement many would like to encourage.
Garner said he hopes the meetings can lead to the development of a standard form or template for residents to fill out when providing the police with tips in order to garner more useful information for the police.
Police are partially headed in that direction already with the establishment in recent months of a drug tip line, that allows residents to leave anonymous messages with details about suspicious activity.
The phone number for that tip line is 610-326-4109 and the email address is email@example.com.
Non-narcotics-related tips about criminal activity can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garner said he would also like to see the borough and the county explore using forfeiture laws that could make it possible for the borough or county to take control of nuisance properties that are repeatedly the location of criminal activity — particularly related to narcotics.