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Crime a top concern at ‘town hall’

August 6, 2013

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana heard citizen concerns at Monday night‘s town hall meeting, most of which focused on the city’s escalating crime problem....

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Aug-06-13 2:24 AM

A lot of the out of town urbanites who are flocking here are doing so because the "welfare dollar" goes substantially further in this area than it does in "filthadephia", Newark, and other similar urban cesspools. Welfare offices and housing authorities in these urban areas actually post flyers encouraging people to move to areas like Williamsport to help alleviate their overloaded systems. It's disgusting. A majority of those people who are clients of those systems also have substantial ties to the criminal underworld either as active players or they provide their tax payer subsidized dwellings as flop houses and a base of operations for their criminal friends.

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Aug-06-13 5:13 AM

"The mayor attributed the problem to transients and urbanites who move to Williamsport to exploit social services."

For those out there that support big government and dumping billions and billions of dollars into these social programs each year, may I suggest you do some research with regards to the relationship between the welfare state and crime. What you find may shock you. The government isn't doing anyone justice by keeping millions of people dependent on government.

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Aug-06-13 5:31 AM

Many like Ms. Walker need to realize that this city has roughly 1 police officer for every 600 residents. They can't be everywhere all the time. And unless you are sitting outside your home 24 hours a day, it is unfair to say that they never patrol your neighborhood. The fact is, police cost money and they are not your private security firm. Are people willing to pay more in taxes to hire the police force they feel this city should have? Or how about getting involved in the neighborhood watch initiative and work with police and help them be more proactive instead of just reactive. Let's stop complaining and everyone do their part in facing this crime issue.

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Aug-06-13 6:23 AM

I can tell you first hand, I live in Newberry, the police are patrolling, If I don't see 1-2 Police officers at least once every 2 hours or so, (sometimes it's smaller increments) I find it surprising. Now, I'm not out on my porch all the time either, but when I am outside, I generally see a police car drive by my house at some point. So they're out there, the problem is, the crime isn't always happening where they are, criminals are slightly smarter than that.

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Aug-06-13 6:39 AM

"we've done enough when it comes to social services"


Maybe Williamsport ought to run some TV ads on the Philadelphia and Newark TV channels. Lycoming County welfare office closed; no more welfare. Closest office is two hours away.

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Aug-06-13 7:09 AM

ToTexas...Love your idea!!!!..that WOULD do the job, for sure!!!

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Aug-06-13 7:21 AM

seems like plenty of talk, how about some actio ?

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Aug-06-13 7:27 AM

To Texas: Actually there is one in Lock Haven. I don't have a problem with people that use welfare that NEED it. I do have a problem with those who abuse it. When I was on food stamps I had to fight for them cause I pay my mother rent and pay bills. They thought I should be living with her for free. I told them if I wanted to live for free I would have all the benefits and live in the crime infested housing. Not everyone on welfare abuses it. O work hard barely making it because I have medical issues and no insurance and have to pay cash. I was told only those who are sick get the medical card. What BS. It seems the ones living in housing gets the most help. I went to college, I have my own car, and don't rely on the government. Life hands me lemons and I make lemonade. It's my own responsibility to raise my children and provide for them. Not the governments. I lost my job, went on food stamps, found another job and got off of them.

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Aug-06-13 7:28 AM

the Housing Authority stopped taking applications a few weeks ago due to the length of the wait list. Single individuals can no longer receive cash assistance. The Rescue Workers are full. ARW can no longer help "local residents" with extra money for security deposits when they need to move. Remember we have many who lost their housing to gas workers with substantial increase in rental costs. We have little left to help people from our area who most would prefer to assist. The police do a good job given the land size of the city. The officers simply could not walk the city and respond to calls in a timely fashion.

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Aug-06-13 7:30 AM

government can't do this alone, mayor the goverment is for the people by the people we the people our the goverment

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Aug-06-13 7:56 AM

Jjs8282, if everyone would have the attitude you have, this country would be a much better place. The system was there for you when you absolutely needed it, but you "pulled up your bootstraps" and went right back out there and found work to provide for you and your family. Sadly enough though, there are too many that become generations of government dependents. Single parent homes are becoming an epidemic in this country and this not only puts a burden on government assistance, but it also has a direct correlation to the rising crime, not only in this city, but nationwide.

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Aug-06-13 8:40 AM

Please make the Bridge st./ Victoria Gardens #1 on your list to deal with Mr. Mayor. We as residents of this section of town are beyond fed up with the ongoing behavior of the "tenants" and the other type of TRASH that constantly disturb the peace in this neighborhood.

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Aug-06-13 9:14 AM

I've been hearing through the grapevine that Renovo has been getting quite a few Section 8 housing residents from New Jersey. It's only a matter of time before the crime follows.

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Aug-06-13 10:33 AM

While I like the idea of the police officers being more involved and randomly stopping people, I have a feeling that some black guy is going to file a laawsuit because he felt that he was stopped because he was black.

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Aug-06-13 2:18 PM

jjs8282, I agree that we need to have some help for those that really need it. We might debate how much is through government v. family and friends

My point was a little tongue in cheek that ads be run on the TV stations where most people claim the problems are coming in from, just to create an allusion so they don't want to come to Williamsport.

Based on the content of what you wrote, you have a fabulous attitude and approach to life. You are a great role model for your children and those around you.

Some people think that God only provides blessings through health, wealth and prosperity. I am convinced that He also provides blessings and grace through difficulties and tough times.

I hope that you have a blessed day.

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Aug-06-13 2:36 PM

How about stop getting people going 10 miles over the speed limit or with a .09 BAC and spend time in the bad areas. NO ONE is surprised when the sun gazette list the streets these people are shot on! ex(high,2-6 ave)

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Aug-06-13 4:27 PM


Someone with bac of .09 is just as dangerous with someone with 9mm handgun!!! Are you really that naive or just stupid?

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Aug-06-13 6:00 PM

"We make a lot of vehicle stops. Unfortunately there's going to be people who are stopped who aren't doing anything."


Someone please correct me if I am mistaken but isn't the practice described above blatantly unconstitutional?

Isn't reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal conduct still the law of the land?

Can now anyone pulled over by the city now produce Chief Foresman's quote as evidence that the city conducts unlawful traffic stops by design?

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Aug-06-13 7:46 PM

Jerry the police can put up road blocks whenever they want and stop you, so I doubt this violates any constitutional rights. Now if they choose to search the car I imagine they need a warrant.

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Aug-06-13 8:15 PM

Jerry you are correct. It would be unlawful for the police to just be driving around making arbitrary vehicle stops just to see what someone is doing. In order for them to make a lawful traffic stop they would need probably cause, such as a violation of the vehicle code. Furthermore, a law abiding citizen does not have to answer the officer as to where they were, where they are going etc. All they would have to do is provide their driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. If they are making random, arbitrary stops just to fish for criminal activity they are setting themselves up for a major law suit. Even if they did stumble upon some type of criminal activity after the stop was made, it would all be thrown out if the stop itself was illegal.

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Aug-06-13 8:30 PM

To search your vehicle all the police need is either reasonable suspicion OR your permission to do so.

It is your right to refuse any search.

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Aug-06-13 11:12 PM

They should start posting the obituaries of all the people who are dying from overdoses and crime in Williamsport. DETAILED!!

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Aug-07-13 3:19 AM

Folks I'm sure they have done their homework and spoke with city attorneys regarding their plans. Like I said they put up DUI check points all the time and stop you and this is never challenged in court. I'm sure this is going to be similar, but they are going to concentrate them in the areas they know are having problems with drugs. They could also be planning to have the K9 unit there to walk around the outside of the vehicle if they become suspicious and that will give them the probable cause they need to get a warrant.

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Aug-07-13 7:14 AM

"Folks I'm sure they have done their homework and spoke with city attorneys regarding their plans"


It doesn't sound like it.

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