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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DA says Coatesville crime at new level -- What do you think?

In today's DLN, you'll find a report on recent violent crime in and around Coatesville. In the report, Chester County District Attorney Joseph Carroll says violent crime is at the highest level he's seen. Carroll went on to say the crime is worse than the days of the notorious, gun-toting gang Young Guns, which was on Coatesville's streets in the 1990s.

You can read about Carroll's comments and get information on the latest shooting in the city by clicking here.

Also, what do you think? Is crime at a new level in Coatesville? What factors do you think have triggered the recent violence? Share your thoughts here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an idea that requires no thought from the council.

July 29, 2008 4:02 PM 
Blogger Jim Pitcherella said...

It was winter time here when I said that this was shaping up to be a violent summer in Coatesville. The response by the Coatesville Administration was a nonchalant smirk. This is one time that I really hate to say, I told you so.

The escalation of violence in Coatesville is an inevitable consequence of what I believe is the “dumbing down” of the Coatesville Police Department by the “bloc of four” city council members and their supporters. The Walker Administration made a decision to cut costs to avoid a tax increase or the utilization of Coatesville’s “rainy day fund”. They cut funds across the board by cutting back on staff (administrators salaries were increased). The biggest staff cuts were in the police department. Not only were the number of officers reduced but the police department office staff was nearly eliminated causing patrol officers to fill in for clerical jobs. Our “chief” Mr. Matthews is still not certified as a policeman in Pennsylvania.

When Paul Janssen took office as the Coatesville City Manager his first task was to make the streets safe. Mr. Janssen searched for and found a police officer that could tackle the task of policing the streets of Coatesville. When Chief of Police Dominic Bellizzie first saw Coatesville he said that the “streets were an open air drug bazaar”. Janssen and Chief Bellizzie modernized and expanded the Coatesville Police Department. Unfortunately the city was plunged into a series of lawsuits concerning a land acquisition dispute. The 30 plus lawsuits directed against the City of Coatesville that the city was forced to win in court nearly bankrupted the city (The City of Coatesville won every lawsuit; I believe that most should have been thrown out as frivolous). However, Chief Bellizzie’s efforts paid off and by 2005 drug dealers could not risk living inside the city limits of Coatesville. In spite of the drag from the lawsuits the city was on the brink of turning over from the wholesale and retail drug distribution center of Chester County into a normal city. And then came the “bloc of four”.

Below is a portion of the resignation letter of former Coatesville Assistant City Manager Tarron Richardson. He refers to the Walker Administration:

“Continued association with the cesspool of corruption and misconduct created by the majority of council and its political appointments may subsequently jeopardize my future professional, personal, and political endeavors. Such inappropriate behavior has caused a mass exodus of city personnel, many who carried with them substantial institutional knowledge of the organization."

The drug entrepreneurs are well aware that the Coatesville Police Force has been in a state of crisis since the “bloc of four” took office. The real winners in the Municipal Election of 2005 in Coatesville were not the Sahas, they were not the “bloc of four”, developers may be unwelcome by the city administration and certainly the people of Coatesville did not benefit by the election of the “bloc of four”. It might have been unintended but I believe the real winners of the Municipal Election of 2005 were the drug dealers

I think that the blame for the violence that we now have here can be placed squarely at the foot of the “bloc of four” and the people that got them elected.

As District Attorney Joe Carroll says; “This is an unprecedented level of violence". The summer is still young. The violence could intensify. It is time for the “bloc of four” to do something positive for their city; they can resign from city council.

July 29, 2008 7:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow- well put Pitcherella!

July 30, 2008 12:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bloc of four is that a gang?and the people that got them in there are they still with or in city council and there supporters to. nobody had plan B and mr.matthews why is he here anyway he is all the way up here from BM and i know crime is just is high there so what have he really done for are town if anything at look just like BM right about now war zoon. you tell me what is really good in my town call c-ville

August 1, 2008 6:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone from the outside of Coatesville needs to come in and take the power away from counsel. I walked one block to an event on the main street (30) and was asked 3 times if I wanted drugs. Where are the officers and why is the city allowing this? Replace them.

October 15, 2008 8:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved out of Coatesville in 2005 and it was the best thing I did for my children. I have not or will not drive through Coatesville in fear that I may be shot at etc. It is sad because I went to Coatesville schools and lived in the area all my life. Something must be done for the people who aren't as lucky as me. Bring Peace and safety to Coatesville again and get rid of the weak.

December 2, 2008 12:44 PM 

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