READING, Dec. 10, 2012 – State Sen. Judy Schwank and Rep. Thomas Caltagirone announced today that the governor will join state and local officials to hold a crime summit in January in Reading.
Schwank and Caltagirone made the comments after a meeting with city and county officials today in Schwank’s offices on plans for the summit and discussions with the governor’s office and Reading businessman Albert Boscov.
Schwank, who arranged the meeting last week after Caltagirone approached her with similar concerns to hers about the need to bring more resources and services to assist the city to deal with crime, said the summit will take place on Jan. 18.
“It was clear this morning that everybody is on the same page,” Caltagirione said. “We’ve got to get this moving. We all understand the main issues that have to be addressed, and there a lot of people who need to be brought into the discussion to begin doing it.”
Mayor Vaughn Spencer, City Council President Francis Acosta, County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt and District Attorney John T. Adams met with Schwank and Caltagirone at the legislators’ request.
“Reading is really in a difficult position,” Schwank said. “It must respond with a police bureau that has some 50 fewer officers than it had only a few years ago. It is a tremendous gap to close in a very challenging time both fiscally and in terms of crime, and we all understand that its impact is not limited to the city.”
She said the next step will be to bring key law enforcement and elected officials from the local, state and federal government, including the governor, together to develop a strategy to guide the effort.