In 2006 the South Wilkes-Barre and Solomon’s Creek Crime Watch groups merged at the direction of the former crime prevention officer, Wilkes-Barre Police Officer Lori Riemensnyder. Since that time Wilkes-Barre has seen a rise not only in violent crimes, but also in quality-of-life crimes, according to Charlotte Raup, president of the city’s Crime Watch Coalition.
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For the past two months, a new group of concerned citizens has been meeting in the borough of Dunmore. Averaging 50 individuals at its meetings, the group has formulated surveys, identified borough concerns, and established a presence in the borough. Guests from area neighborhood watch groups, as well as experts in the criminal justice system,...
When Temple University student Brandon Villano’s 2004 Dodge Neon was stolen from the front of his Wilkes-Barre City residence on August 18, Villano’s girlfriend posted a photo of the car in the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition Facebook group, asking crime watch members to “please keep a look out for it.”
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton has been weathering much criticism because of statements he recently made during a city council meeting asserting, “In fact, crime is down in the city.” Gasps erupted from the stunned council audience, the very citizens who came to address what they perceived to be a rise in neighborhood crime, rather than a decline. Leighton also told reporters from some other outlets after that meeting that, “The reason why it appears there’s more crime is because we have more officers on the street arresting more people.”