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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Comments Concerning possible Police Department layoffs at East Fallowfield Township Supervisors Meeting

The rumor is that East Fallowfield Township is contemplating layoffs of 4 full time police officers.  According to the East Fallowfield Township Website there are currently, including Chief Chris Porter, nine full time officers and one part time officer. The Supervisor’s meeting was held at the South Brandywine Middle School in order to accommodate the audience of more than 200 people.
Here in Coatesville just a few years ago, Coatesville City Manager Harry Walker and Coatesville Police Chief Matthews’s had made a decision to lay off Coatesville Police officers and furlough an important narcotics investigator. That decision caused a mass exodus of Coatesville Officers. The direct result here was a massive increase in violent crime and a harrowing year of arson. During that dark period investigations were curtailed and we had a mostly reactionary police force.
The officers that remained on duty did so at a greatly increased risk for their safety. We lost many officers with an intimate knowledge of our community. We have good officers now, but it will take several more years for the new officers to become familiar with Coatesville.
Chester County District Attorney Joe Carroll:
“I’m here tonight because part of my responsibility as District Attorney is to make sure that East Fallowfield Township is safe just as any other township in the County. And I think that has been stated very eloquently by a lot of the previous speakers, one of the primary duties of government is to provide for the public safety.  And you generally do that by finding some brave men and women who are willing to risk their lives to keep everybody else safe. And I think East Fallowfield Township is has done an excellent job of doing exactly that.
You have gotten officers who are dedicated, who are trained and who are doing an excellent job for you and for me, for my office when we have to work together.
You have a very difficult job. I have to live within a budget but I don’t have to make some of the decisions you do. When you do decide though whether or not it’s safe to cut your police officers, I do think that you think of a couple of things. One is the value of that patrol activity, of having people driving by, where people know that they're in the area. That’s going to not only going to lead to situations where the police officers interrupt some crimes, but it’s going to deter others who might be thinking about where they might go to commit their offences.
We do have that deterrent value from having the officers around and you’ve got some investigators here who are capable of doing the after work. After the burglary occurs and you’ve gone away from the scene they’re going to take with them the evidence that they need and they’re going to make some follow-ups. That’s not necessarily going to happen if you cut your police force.
The number I heard is that you might be cutting as many as four full time officers which would give you less than one officer on duty during every hour that you have… You’re not going to get the patrol opportunities, you’re not going to get the follow-up investigations that you’re going to need in order to keep your residents safe.
And here’s the one thing that I think I can add to the discussion tonight; If you are to make a decision to cut the police department right now, even when things get better it’s going to take you and awful long time to recover the police department that you currently have. The officers that are already familiar with your community, who you’ve already trained aren’t going to be here anymore, once they get laid off.
East Fallowfield will not be a target destination for people who want to get involved in law enforcement if they know that at any given time that four supervisors may not support the police department and they may not have a future here. So it would take longer than your budget problem to return the police department to its current level of service to the community.
I can’t remember ever going to another meeting and hearing tax payers who expressed the opinion that they are willing to pay a little bit more it that’s necessary to keep their department. I think that those are very well thought out ideas that are coming. That people recognize that they may want their park to be safe and they want it to be clean, but what it comes down to is they want, in the middle of the night to be safe, that they are going to be secure in their homes and that when they leave their property is going to be safe because of the police department that you have protecting them.
So, I know that you have a very difficult job to do but I urge you not to sacrifice public safety when you make your decisions. Thank you for your time.”
Listen to Joe Carroll here:
East Fallowfield resident Dick Vermeil:
“Hi there, I’m Dick Vermeil; I’ve been a member of this community twenty three years. I’ve been in front of you guys. I respect you. I know how you go about making decisions and I know the pressures that are on you.
But really this is simple. You really don’t have a choice. I don’t think you do and that’s not trying to take pressure off you but you were elected to do what the people want. And I’ve never been in a situation where people want their taxes raised to get something done the way it ought to be done. So I trust you to do the right thing, Thank you.”
Listen to Dick Vermeil here:
Wives of East Fallowfield Police Officers:
“It’s hard to follow up Coach Vermeil but we represent two of the wives of the police officers in question.
I have a two year old and a three year old at home who may not have a father come home one day due to a tax increase problem. Will you, the five of you come to my house and say to my children, ‘I’m sorry we didn’t put a tax in, your daddy was killed.
My children are home with me a resident of East Fallowfield by ourselves while my husband is out protecting you and your family. I expect the same respect to give them support that they need.
Cutting numbers will result in poor officer safety. You and we as a community deserve the support to give them what they need. We’re home by ourselves worrying about our husband’s lives on an hourly basis. Please, please, please don’t make me tell my children that their father didn’t make it home. Thank you.” 
Listen to wives of police officers here:

No decision was made at last night's meeting regarding police layoffs or a tax increase. 

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