By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Keep calling 911, borough residents urged by police


August 29, 2017

Anyone who experiences harassment, or witnesses underage drinking or other illegal activity in the borough parks, should call 911.

That was the message of Police Chief Matt Juzwick at the August 21 meeting of Mt. Oliver council.

“I need to know the information to address it,” he said. He receives reports of all 911 calls.

“Keep calling 911,” he said if officers do not respond in a timely fashion. If a resident is being harassed, he said to file charges, and it will be taken to court.

Attendees who were there to complain about youngsters’ behavior in the parks said older teens can be problematic at Ormsby Park.

At Transverse Park, a special needs teen was assaulted. There have also been numerous fights among other teens at the park.

Councilman Nick Viglione said the police clear the parks at dusk.

“We’ve got to stick together and show we are not afraid of them,” he said of park troublemakers.

The issue arose when a woman resident said she clears garbage bags full of beer cans, broken bottles, and more from Transverse Park every day. She does not touch the needles strewn about.

She is worried about the children and dogs who walk in the park and could step on the broken glass or needles.

“It’s almost impossible to keep up,” she said, noting most of the alcohol drinkers are underage, and drink in the park at night. When they see the police coming, they run.

“Keep calling us if we don’t come down,” Chief Juzwick said.

The meeting began with a presentation regarding a fallen police officer search. The presenter, who chose to remain anonymous, hopes to locate relatives of two Mt. Oliver police officers killed years ago in the line of duty.

They are officers Nicholas Clemens Thome and William Paul Roth. Officer Thome died in 1963, and Officer Roth in 1938.

The presenter said she would like the relatives present when the officers are honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“This is my passion,” she said.

Relatives are encouraged to check out the Facebook page for the memorial, the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated in 1991, the memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of the nation and its people.

In borough financial news, 74 percent of the property tax has been collected so far, which is standard for this time of year. The property tax amount totals $878,074, and the collections so far are $650,287.

Next, in the report of the borough’s volunteer fire company for May, there were 49 EMS incidents and 17 fire incidents. Mutual aid was given six times and received seven times.

In the police report for July, there were 534 total calls and 40 drug-related arrests, the latter for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

There were also 11 accident reports, six domestic calls, eight criminal mischief calls, and two fights. Home invasion burglaries occurred on Anthony and John streets.

The police served 11 arrest warrants, and arrested a male on Charles St. for a stolen firearm.

The K-9 units were used 10 times, including for park-and-walks, drug search, building search, and targeted patrols.

All computers are up and running. All surveillance cameras are operating properly.

Resident Frank Bernardini commented that an expeditious eviction notice policy available from the county district attorney’s office allows for a landlord to evict tenants within days who are engaged in drug activity or domestic violence.

He wants everyone to be aware of this tool in fighting neighborhood crime.

He said when a landlord of a four-unit apartment building on Giffin Ave. was recently informed of the policy he had tenants engaged in drug activity evicted within a week.

“This borough has a cancer,” he said of drugs and other criminal activity.

“If it is not cut out soon, we won’t have a borough,” he said.

In the code enforcement report from inspector Chuck Knaus for July, there were 27 borough citations issued, 11 legal filings, 22 rental licenses issued (57 units), 101 violation/notices sent, 55 complaints received, one zoning permit issued, one building permit issued, and two occupancy permits issued.

Councilman David Beltz reminded everyone that for Monday morning pick-up, garbage cannot be set outside before 6 p.m. on Sundays. Some residents put it out as early as Saturday, he said.

“They will be cited,” he said.

In public works, Councilman Justin Viale reported that, in July, department employees: patched potholes, cut grass, fixed the air conditioning unit in the police department, installed new signs, and more.

Mr. Viglione thanked the two women and one man who cut down a huge tree on Brandon Way.

“They’re the kind of residents we need here,” he said.

In economic development, Councilwoman Tina Reft reported the July 20 vacant commercial property tour drew about 50 attendees.

In upcoming events, Fall Fest will be held on Oct. 7, and Up on the Hilltop on Dec. 2.

For more information on any of the events, email Mr. Hopkinson at: .

In questions and answers, a resident said she helped start a community garden in Transverse Park in 2014. She did not get involved this year as a camera was promised to catch vandals, but the borough did not follow through.

Ms. Reft said one camera won’t help as it will only capture vandals at one angle. Mr. Viglione said it takes time to get a camera.

“Don’t feel bad calling 911,” Ms. Reft said.

Mr. Viglione said it is sad, but some residents say they can’t wait for the winter to get youngsters off the street and out of the parks.

Mr. Bernardini said more than six residents, as were present that evening, need to show up at the meetings to straighten this problem out.

The next council meeting will be on Sept. 18.


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