Fighting crime

In last Sunday’s Sun-Gazette, City Council President, Mr. Bill Hall and City Council Vice President, Mr. Jonathan Williamson, announced that they where going to present a plan to combat crime in the city. This is commendable, but the mayor has been dealing with this issue all along. I am very concerned why they now think the problem needs to be addressed by them.

The problem needs to be dealt with intelligently. It also must be dealt with by our legal system. The laws of the Commonwealth are tools to combat crime and to promote economic prosperity.

You cannot let a criminal offender free, with a fine that they will not pay anyway. You cannot put them all in jail. This does not cure the problem. You must provide a deterrent that will make the person, at least think twice, before committing the crime again. The punishment must be enough to discourage others from committing a crime. Making drugs legal is not the answer. Making them legal is just a way to get more money for the governing body. It also covers up the fact that they are unwilling to deal with the underlying problem that would not benefit their election efforts.

Mr. Hall and Mr. Williamson also want to increase the Codes Department and give them more authority and more work. What seems to be a logical solution to help curb drug dealers from using a property, in order to conduct their business? Wrong!

If there are, for the sake of argument, three (3) families living in a single family home, the extra people go on vacation for a couple days, until the inspection is completed.

If a drug dealer lives in the rental property, he or she, is going to get rid of all the drugs and related objects. What has this waste of time done to help control crime?

Now, the Codes Officers that we do have only follows up on complaints and inspections. These Officers are always driving around in their cars. They do not walk anywhere in the city. I would like to know why it is; Mr. Hall and Mr. Williamson think the Codes Officers need to be trained in self-defense techniques.

Mr. Hall and Mr. Williamson are not too worried about cutting the City of Williamsport Fire Department. They are highly trained and put their lives on the line, day in and day out. The same thing goes for the Williamsport Police. If these employees did not have a Union negotiated contract, the City of Williamsport would be in a sorry state.

Mr. Hall and Mr. Williamson, please do more than just listen a couple people. Walk around this city, not just in the area above High Street, where people pay higher property taxes.

Steve Hertel


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom