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Beating Crime in Harrisburg

There’s definitely been too much crime in my city.  I really didn’t know about that before I moved in, but there again, it’s not exactly something I researched much.  I was just desperate to get far away from my ex.  But now that I keep hearing about all the crime, I’m seriously beginning to reconsider and look at the option of relocating.  It’s hardly the kind of place I want to be (part-time) bringing up my kids.  I mean, if people can go so low as beating up the elderly, what hope is there?

So, while I wouldn’t exactly say I was delighted to learn about the new measures our Mayor is implementing to try and beat this crime – I mean, I’d prefer we didn’t have the situation to begin with – learning about District Ed Marsico’s promise to provide the necessary funding to install cameras in the city as a deterrent, was good news overall.

Problem is though, I read recently that the Mayor isn’t too happy as this was meant to have happened already.  The money, it appears, just hasn’t come through.  Ms. Thompson thus plans on following up with him.  But apparently it might not just be Marsico’s fault.  He claims that it’s not just a case of putting cameras up – they need to be monitored. Oh politics, politics; it’s not my job, blah, blah.

Anyway the upshot is, I really don’t know what’s going to happen.  Tweeter JulieCBS21 recently pointed out that Harrisburg is ranked the 20th worst city for crime.    Of course, if you ask Ms. Thompson, she’ll claim the city is safe.  So I wonder what she would say to Heather Murphy’s claim on NeighborhoodScout.com that one’s “odds of being the victim of violent crime in Harrisburg are 1-in-62.”

Still, there are a lot of great things about the city.  The kids love coming; the restaurants are great and together with Thompson’s promises and Dauphin County’s generous donation of $25,000 to beat crime through various methods, I think things are going to look up.  At least, I hope they are.

Harrisburg’s Finances Getting into Shape?

It seems that there has (finally in my opinion) been an attempt on the part of my city to finally fix up its disastrous finances.  Harrisburg recently hired John Campbell, allegedly a 23-year-old financial whiz, to sort things out, earlier this month. I’m just hoping for one thing right now, that improved finances will lead to more services – or resumed services, like the reopening of the Post Office – for us Harrisburg residents.

I was a little concerned when I learned that the guy is still in school though. He is studying for a double bachelor’s in business admin and economics though, so let’s hope he’s a top-rate student.  That made me realize just how young he is…or, just how old I am!

Apart from my small little gripes (like the Post Office), crime is on the increase in Harrisburg and there just isn’t much money around for basic street repairs, so clearly things have to change. It just remains to be seen if Campbell is up for the task, having supported the city’s bankruptcy claim. Mind you, I’m not sure what other choice he had. I sure don’t know what I would have done; not that I’m a financial whizz.

At least the man is enthusiastic and positive; Harrisburg certainly could do with an injection of that right now. Let’s just wait and see.

Cutting Crime in Harrisburg

In general Harrisburg is a great place to live. But there is always some kind of crime, no matter where you live.  So I was particularly delighted to discover the new app – Docket In Your Pocket – that can help do a quick check of criminal records throughout the state of Pennsylvania.  Apparently one has been able to check out criminal records on line before this app, but it is not the kind of site that makes it easy to check out a Harrisburg resident’s criminal record on the go for example.  This is going to make life much easier now for all those who want to be aware of criminals in the area.

It’s not like I’m exactly paranoid or anything but I am definitely going to get this app – I just like to know these things.  As well, I read a review that said information on the app is updated twice a week.  It’s also cool to know that it was Pennsylvania to first get the app…but then I was thinking that maybe it’s not such a good sign – perhaps it indicates there’s more crime in Pennsylvania than I thought! Oh well, at least there’s a cool Irish pub here now!  If worst comes to worse I’ll just drown my sorrows at the thought of crime on the up in Harrisburg.

Have a great Wednesday! Do some Christmas shopping for me.  It’s going to be hard the first year without the ex and the kids so I’m not so into the shopping this time but I will for sure try to somehow get into the spirit.

Crime at Shady McGrady’s Bar

Over the weekend, at 5 am on Saturday morning, Shady McGrady’s bar was broken into and an attempt was made to burn it down.  It will be at least a month before it opens again. And that’s thanks to the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire that managed to put the fire out before the place was totally burned down.

But it seems this isn’t going to be put off the regulars, like Charlie Debrenner who frequents the bar every Saturday, drinks his two beers, and then heads home.  He brought lawn chairs, his sons Ben and Andy, and a case of beer down to Shady McGrady’s and continued with his tradition, exchanging laughter, chit-chat and beer-sipping.

It was the kind of place that people would frequent during power outages as McGrady’s always stayed open. It was more than just a place to enjoy a beer (with 80 different types on tap) – women would sing and people felt like it was a community hang-out.  So now they’re passing around pretzels on the lawn until the reopening.

Crime Comes to Harrisburg

Harrisburg Houses Accused Attempted Murderer

Of course, the city of Harrisburg cannot be blamed for having the man who was accused for trying to kill his girlfriend currently living there.  He has just been found in the city.  A couple of weeks ago, he shot his girlfriend in Salem Township who some days later was discovered in Harrisburg.  Anamarie Henderson, 27-years-old, was allegedly shot quite a few times, according to police.  At the time of the shooting, she had been asleep in her car on Aviation Lane, a little bit before 6am.  She woke up, left the car and was then shot.

The victim’s stepfather, Dwayne Schaming was the one her found Anamarie.  She was left lying in her driveway and thereafter taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.  She identified 44-year-old Darnell Redman, her boyfriend, as being her attacker.  He was taken into custody after the friend in Harrisburg whom he was visiting, called the police to let them know of the accused’s whereabouts.

Police Lose Popularity on Poplar Street

It seems like the police blew it again.  A recent incident on Poplar Street at the Economy Inn Hotel most certainly did not put the police in a good light even if it was ultimately for a good cause and will in the long-term assist police strategy.  A man and woman were in a hotel room when the Harrisburg Police Department accused them of armed robbery. The individuals exited the room about half an hour after the police storming began.

According to Chief Bob Smith, “it was an ignorant attempt by another law enforcement agency.”  The street was closed off 15 minutes before the arrival of the State Police and traffic was rerouted.

At the same time, Smith was trying to work out exactly what the warrant was but after his phone conversation to Arkansas, realized no warrants had been issued.  Once the two had been taken into custody, he learned the Arkansas authorities did not want the two to be detained so they were released on the scene!

But this was the plan.  According to Smith, it was all undertaken for strategy and tactics.  According to Smith, “everything went according to plan and there were no problems.  We conducted this operation with safety of our citizens at the top most priority, we are sorry if we inconvenienced motorist through Harrisburg by closing Poplar Street.  The situation was resolved where no one was hurt.”

Nonetheless, on the other side of the coin, the operation was criticized as it can be somewhat risky and according to the article in The Daily Register, officers become very frustrated “when they’ve taken risks for what amounts to no good reason.”

It may have been an important endeavor for the Harrisburg Police Department, but I don’t think it’s going to end up winning them any awards in the popularity department, especially not on Poplar Street.

Harrisburg Man Let Off

A Harrisburg man has just been told he is free to go when a mistrial was called after a jury failed to reach a verdict.  According to an article in PennLive, the 21-year-old man, Damon Lewis, was accused of “robbing two women at a city bus stop.”  Probably what ultimately caused the case to be dropped was the fact that neither of the witnesses were able to select the man from a photo lineup just days following the robbery.  Nonetheless they were “able to finger him at trial and in an ATM photo.”  They also said that he “held a gun to their heads and repeatedly pulled the trigger.”

Lewis Still Acquitted

Perhaps Lewis should have been a bit more sensible in his thinking though when he tried to avoid the police by hiding on  a roof when they came for his rest during the holdup on 20th and Market Streets on August 23.  He has now been acquitted by the jury for this.  Further, he has been charged on two counts of robbery and of using one of the victim’s bank cards.

Lewis might also not be so lucky vis-à-vis the other robbery charge since Deputy District Attorney Johnny Baer has said that he will be retried on this.  It sure is a shame that the ladies weren’t able to make the identification but a lot can be said for shock in a situation like this and thus there is still a chance Lewis will be found guilty at a retrial.