Residents upset over antics in neighborhood

July 12, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Residents of West Catherine Street say they are fed up with noise, drinking and other mischief that goes on outside all night, and that reinstating a zero-tolerance policy has had little success.

West Catherine Street residents Ted Crist and Larry Reed first sought the help of the Chambersburg Borough Council last month.

At the meeting, Mayor Tom Newcomer, who oversees the Chambersburg Police Department, promised officers would take action and resume a zero-tolerance policy that had worked in previous years.

The men returned Tuesday, however, to say that after two days of quiet the community is back to normal.

"Police presence in the neighborhood has been upgraded, but they continue with their stuff as soon as the cops leave again," Crist said. "I'm tired of staying up to 5 a.m. I'm tired of being threatened after I call police."


Reed said he also is fed up with the problems.

"I'm not taking it no more," Reed said. "As soon as (police) leave, all hell breaks loose."

Newcomer said he has talked with police, and the Crime Impact Team is concentrating its efforts there. He said numerous arrests have been made for disorderly conduct, carrying open containers and other similar behavior.

"I know if I was a resident here, I would be concerned also," Newcomer said.

Newcomer promised to keep on top of the problem, but cautioned that there are only 29 borough officers who have to keep watch over the entire borough 24 hours a day.

"I believe I can see an improvement. It's not going to happen overnight," Newcomer said.

"I do understand the police have been there and are trying," Crist said.

Crist said he has to contend with beer bottles and food dumped in his yard, illegally parked cars and late-night parties that spill onto the street.

He said on July 5, mopeds without lights were racing up and down the street at 11 p.m., and it continued the following night.

He said police responded several times, but as soon as they left the activity resumed.

Chambersburg Police Chief Michael DeFrank could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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