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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Middle District Of Pennsylvania Joins Law Enforcement Partners To Support National Community Policing Week

WILKES-BARRE - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that as part of “National Community Policing Week” a “neighborhood walk” in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, took place today.  One of the top priorities of the Department of Justice is strengthening relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve and protect.  Community policing – public safety efforts built on resilient bonds of mutual trust and respect between law enforcement officers and neighborhood residents – is an essential component of law enforcement work. One way to build trust and legitimacy is for law enforcement officers to engage and collaborate with local residents and community organizations to identify areas of concern and coordinate solutions to community problems. 

Participants in today’s “neighborhood walk” in Wilkes-Barre were representatives from various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, along with members of the NAACP. Included were representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Wilkes-Barre Mayor’s Office, the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, and the United States Marshals Service.

“Events such as today’s neighborhood walk demonstrate that all levels of law enforcement and community members can come together to address crime in our neighborhoods,” said Gary Tuggle, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Philadelphia Field Division.  “Strengthening bonds with the community is an important part of the DEA’s mission to raise awareness about the current prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that is ravishing our communities.”

“United with the community we serve, through trust and confidence, we can work as one to root out those who oppose peaceful and safe neighborhoods. The community should know that ATF’s highest priority is reducing and preventing gun violence on our streets. Together, with open dialogue and citizen contributions, we can have stronger bonds with a shared purpose of fighting violent crime and to make certain that where we live and work is a safe place.” Said ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi.

“To keep our communities safe, we need everyone on board,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster. “The FBI is committed to our productive partnerships with law enforcement at every level, and to promoting strong relationships with the citizens we all serve. Events like this support our common cause.”  

On November 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with federal, state and local partners announced a renewed strategy for reducing and preventing violent crime and drug activity in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, focusing on the Harrisburg, York, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport areas.  The program, known as “Violent Crime Reduction Partnership,” identifies communities which are most in need of anti-violence and anti-drug solutions and targets high-priority offenders in those communities for aggressive prosecution.  Today’s event in Wilkes-Barre is meant to demonstrate to the community our awareness of the problems they face, to demonstrate that law enforcement is working together to fight crime in these areas, and most important, to solicit and encourage input from local residents and community organizations for solutions to these problems.

As part of the promoting the dialogue between law enforcement and the community, each federal, state and local law enforcement agency has a “tipline” where local residents can report suspicious activity to the police:

U.S. Marshal Service - tips for fugitives call 1-800-336-0102 or usms.wanted@usdoj.gov

FBI – call 215-418-4000 or https://tips.fbi.gov/

ATF - call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (283-8477) or anonymous tips can be reported to ATF via the Reportit® App (download at Google Play or the Apple App Store)

DEA - “Submit A Tip” at https://www.dea.gov/ops/submit.php

Pennsylvania State Police - PA Crime Stoppers - 1-800-4PA-TIPS; Drug Trafficking Tip Line - 1-877-PA-NODRUGS; Terrorism/Fugitive Tip Line - 1-888-292-1919 

Wilkes-Barre Police Department - http://wbcrimeline.com

In addition, prosecutors and police officers are available to meet with the public in schools, township meetings and other appropriate venues to discuss topics of mutual concern.  For example, on September 19, 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs held a well-attended symposium on heroin and prescription drug abuse at Central Penn College in Summerdale, Pennsylvania.  Events such as this serve not only to educate the public on public health and safety matters but also to promote a strong relationship between law enforcement and the community.

On October 6, 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with our federal, state and local partners, held a similar “neighborhood walk” in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Our offices are committed to continuing the process of building strong bonds of trust and respect between law enforcement and the public they serve.

 

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Updated October 11, 2016