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Police take civilians on codes raids

Mayor defends ‘common-sense’ initiative to cut crime, parental rights to bring along children

April 30, 2014

City police, along with the mayor and codes officials, have begun to lead large bands of city residents, including children, behind them as they close down rental properties suspected of illegal dru......

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May-01-14 5:02 PM

Why do some find this policy so dangerous during the minutes it takes to serve the eviction notice with civilians present, but think nothing of the danger to those same civilians the other 24/7/365 that illegal drug activity takes place in their neighborhood?

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May-01-14 10:26 AM

So you think the police are "jack-boot" thugs, but you think they should lock down the neighborhood to serve an eviction notice....Sounds like you're not sure what you want.

And just because the Sun-Gazette called this a raid, doesn't make it a raid.

Although I can agree that children shouldn't be present. While I don't believe it poses a safety risk, I don't believe it's something they need exposed to.

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May-01-14 9:46 AM

Thaddeus, the name of the article is "Police take civilians on codes raids" and the article makes it quite clear that this was in fact a raid.

I don't care if the police are just serving an eviction notice "as they close down rental properties suspected of illegal drug and firearm activity". Anytime drugs and firearms are involved anything can happen and it's just a matter of time before things go horribly wrong. Civilians have no place being there under these circumstances.

I never said anything about confiscating guns. Anyone who has read my opinions about the second amendment knows that that is simply not true.

And finally, anyone who knows me knows what my opinions are of the police and their jack boot tactics and mentality.

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May-01-14 9:13 AM


You seem to be mistaking the serving of an eviction notice for a "raid." These aren't drug task force raids, these are city police serving eviction notices.

Better put the neighborhood on lock-down...better confiscate the neighbors know, for safety. Everyone close your blinds so you can't see what's happening in your city...nothing to see here. Just ignore the sirens and turn the TV up. Your complacency is as much a part of the problem as the drugs.

Sounds like you'd be more happy in a police state.

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Apr-30-14 7:01 PM

Encouraging local citizens participate exposes the City a huge liability, heaven forbid a something bad happens to them. I have concerns about the officers being in harms way. Officers don't need the distraction of concerned bystanders.The buck stops here Mayor Campana, poor judgment regardless of who made the call.

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Apr-30-14 5:45 PM

"I find the existance of "The Drug Task Force", taking way a playground,and evicting innocents very scary stuff."

Having a playground is not something that is required to be provided in a neighborhood. Residents were given a warning last time the hoops were taken down and many in the neighborhood "vowed" they would do their part to eliminate the problems, such as a neighborhood watch. Obviously this wasn't done and fingers are just being pointed at the police and blaming everyone else. Brandon Park doesn't have these problems because of an aggressive watch program. WRT the "innocent people" being evicted, drugs and guns were found at these residences. It seems to me that given the potential for violence and other crimes normally associated with drug activity, a landlord and others in the neighborhood would want the tenant(s) removed.

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Apr-30-14 4:14 PM

Thaddeus, When civilians are on the scene as the raid is taking place, which is what is being represented, they are being used as human shields.

Your scenario is entirely different. The German populace toured the camps after the camps were raided, secured, deemed safe and displays prepared. They did not accompany the allied forces into the camps while the liberation was being conducted. That would be an entirely different scenario.

If anything, during a raid, the neighborhood should be in a lock-down mode with all civilians within a reasonable distance either evacuated or behind locked doors until the scene is secured.

I believe my analogy is entirely accurate.

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Apr-30-14 3:57 PM

Mayor loves his photo ops,

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Apr-30-14 3:13 PM


Your analogy is terrible. The police aren't using civilians as human shields.

This is more similar to when the Allies made German citizens walk through concentration camps to see what their apathy allowed to happen. Except this is voluntary.

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Apr-30-14 2:12 PM

I find the existance of "The Drug Task Force", taking way a playground,and evicting innocents very scary stuff. More scary is the approval to these actions by neighbors and the community. Seems eerily similar to "bootjacks" used by the Soviets and Germany.

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Apr-30-14 12:19 PM

Is the new ordinance helping evict problem tenants sooner than they could before? Or is it just easier to have gabe and his possy do it with no court action.

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Apr-30-14 11:34 AM

For those that would like to educate yourselves and read the actual ordinance and the procedures within, all you have to do is google it. It is out there for all to see. Perhaps if more in the community would get more involved and report problems within their neighborhoods, it would help everyone within the community. There are many who know who the people are that are causing all the problems but many say nothing. Perhaps this ordinance is thinking outside the box, but maybe it's time we did so in order to get the problems under control.

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Apr-30-14 11:29 AM

Yes. They were incarcerated. People should go to a meeting or just call Asst. Chief Miller. He will actually talk with you. All these questions would be answered if the laptop warriors would simply go. You aren't committed to anything. You can go and never go again but at least you can ask. They stayed well beyond the meeting and answered questions one on one. At least make a phone call. The SG can't cover hours of meetings. The meeting is on You Tube. Skip the first 20 minutes of the first tape unless you are interested in potholes, recreation and so forth.

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Apr-30-14 11:21 AM

JerryfromRI, thanks

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Apr-30-14 11:15 AM

Its not just Williamsport its the entire USA if you think the criminals are bad take a look at how many and what type of people are being arrested across this country (PRIEST, TEACHERS, POLICE, POLITICIANS) and to many more to list at least most criminals don't claim to be a man of God or the Peoples Choice. FACE IT THIS COUNTRY IS A TOILET NOW AND WILLIAMSPORT GETS THE HONOR OF BEING AT THE TOP. REPUBLICAN STRANGLEHOLD

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Apr-30-14 11:09 AM

Were the people evicted convicted of a crime?

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Apr-30-14 9:56 AM

It seems to me that if the residents of the property are such a threat to the community that they must be evicted from there homes, taking the community along is not the safest idea. I think if you look further into this type of ordinances you will find a case that was found unconstitutional in NY. There is also pending law suits in Norristown PA. and Wilkes Barre Pa. The state also passed a new law that limits how these ordinances can be enforced for domestic violence cases. Sounds alot like the SS to me WHO WE GOING AFTER NEXT lets remember the property owner is not committing any crime if they were they would be arrested.

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Apr-30-14 9:33 AM

Raid is also a poor word choice. It was not a "raid". Is anyone so naive as to believe a codes officer and a few folks from the city administration would conduct a raid? Is closing a property for drug /weapons sales propaganda? Maybe it's time the citizens can really see that something is being done, can observe the process and participate in a small way. make a phone call and ask for additional information regarding the process, what happened with the 'girl" and so forth. Misinformation abounds. Go to a meeting, make a phone call, do something before you say "this has to be the worst idea ever". Do you have an idea that might be helpful? It's far easier to criticize than come up a suggestion. At least the community now knows something is being done.

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Apr-30-14 8:59 AM

The only apartment that gets shutdown is the one that is in violation of codes. Proper notice is given to both the landlord and the tenant so it comes as no surprise when the authorities come knocking and I'm sure this woman knew exactly what was going on. This same ordinance has been used in other jurisdictions and the evictions that come as a result of the ordinance have held up in a court of law. Believe it or not, they did their homework before passing this ordinance and personally, if it cleans up some of these properties and effects the pockets of some of the slumlords in this city, I'm all for it.

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Apr-30-14 8:30 AM

"There is a lot of information out there being passed around Facebook and evidently not all of it correct."

I think I'd rather say "I dont know what I'm talking about" than quote Facebook as my source of my news and information. Right there next to the gripping debate on Williamsport's code raids, "What Seinfeld character are you?".

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Apr-30-14 8:19 AM

LOL Classic posts of reaction to a story, posting how terrible something is, instead of getting the facts.

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Apr-30-14 8:11 AM

Hey Spike. Thanks for the correction. There is a lot of information out there being passed around Facebook and evidently not all of it correct.

The folks who were evicted, did they get due process? Did they plead guilty or get convicted? Last I checked, people were innocent until proven guilty. Did Williamsport evict people the laws considers innocent?

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Apr-30-14 7:35 AM

Not every unit is closed. The only unit closed is the unit involved in the selling of drugs and/or weapons. That individual apartment can not be rented again for up to six months. No other tenants in the building are evicted. Those apartments remain open. Jerry from RI would not be evicted or lose his housing under his scenario. Most here consider me a liberal. Your posts would be valid if the basis was correct. Please go to a meeting or call someone to get the facts before deciding.

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Apr-30-14 7:04 AM

The message is clear, if you rent an apartment in the City of Williamsport, it's time to get out and move elsewhere.

Let's say you rent the 2nd floor of a two story apartment building, if the 1st floor tenant is accused of a crime are you going to risk you and your family being put out on the street on no notice?

No way.

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Apr-30-14 6:56 AM

I agree with running drug dealers out of here on a rail. I think we should confiscate their drugs, guns, money, possessions, whatever, and drop them off back in their home neighborhood, where ever that might be, sort of like relocating problem bears. A yellow ear tag might be helpful too, but I'm sure that would violate their constitutional rights.

But - you can't tell me that every single person in that apartment building is guilty. It's wrong to put innocent people out on the street, shut down an entire complex, due to the actions of one person. What this person even charged, tried, and convicted in court?

I don't like this at all.

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