Mayor Thompson announces results of Safety Zone program - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Mayor Thompson announces results of Safety Zone program

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Only divine intervention could cure Harrisburg violence, according to Mayor Linda Thompson, but hard work from police during her Neighborhood Safety Zone program made a dent against crime.

Flanked by just about everyone in her top cabinet, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson rattled off several success stories after last week's 'Neighborhood Safety Zone' program at 19th and Bellevue Streets.

With Harrisburg Police Department Captain Annette Oates, Captain Colin Cleary and Sergeant Terry Wealen by Thompson's side the mayor exuberated nothing but confidence.

Police wrote 17 traffic citations, charged three people with possession of illegal drugs and arrested a person with a controlled substance with intent to sell. Three illegal guns were recovered. Authorities also arrested one man who was carrying a firearm without a permit. Thompson said that man was also in violation of his parole.

"So, we believe it's effective," said the Mayor. "Will we get rid of the entire criminal element? We would need an act of God to have that happen. It's just human nature, people are always going to commit crimes."

Thompson has also always equated crime with blight. City codes and public works personnel canvassed the neighborhood and cited 65 properties, according to Thompson. Overall, 13 rental properties failed inspection. Another 10 rental properties are on the schedule for approval.

Sometime next week, police will conduct the second Neighborhood Safety Zone in South Allison Hill. Thompson said it will be "a great challenge" for police and residents alike. Police are expected to tackle the area between 13th and 16th Streets near Derry. A neighborhood the mayor described as a "high crime…highly diverse" area.

Thompson acknowledged she is only doing she can with the "tools" and "manpower" available at this time. She also noted the mayor and police cannot fight crime alone.

"It goes back to citizen responsibility, resident responsibility. People want to live in peace, but in doing so there's a cost…and that cost is putting your sweat equity on the line," said Thompson. "[Residents] gotta get involved."

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