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Crime spike prompts Montgomery police request

By Staff | Jan 15, 2020

MONTGOMERY – Before the borough’s newly elected president and vice president, a police officer asked the council to reopen Montgomery’s 2020 budget Monday, due to a crime spike.

The borough had planned to reduce the police’s man hours from 130 to 60 a week.

“Serious crime in the borough was significantly up (in 2019),” said Cpl. Eric Winters. “We definitely would like to bring it to the council, and I think it would be advantageous for the council to consider reopening the budget for 2020.”

There were 107 more incidents in 2019 than in 2018.

“We’re not talking retail theft, we’re talking about some really serious crime,” Winters said.

In 2019, there were two arsons, two rapes, three vehicle pursuits, needles found in the streets, burglaries and four wanted suspects were located within the borough’s jurisdiction.

Additionally, two officers were recently attacked, Winters said.

“We had a female that we had to take to the hospital [who fought police with a knife]. She needed multiple stitches and had a large wound,” he said. She is facing aggravated assault charges, and various other charges including driving her car over a pedestrian.

A rising crime rate isn’t just affecting Montgomery, but is a national trend, he said.

It would be a mistake to reduce the police department’s hours patrolling the streets by about 60 percent when crime has risen about 40 percent, he said.

In other police business, the department is unable to use the recently purchased body-cameras until the amendments to the police policies and procedures handbook have been passed by the council.

The council agreed to address these issues at a future work session.

Susan Andrews, council member, was elected president in a 4-2 vote. Voting yes were Laurel Green, Andrews, Rocky Sanguedolce and Amber Wilt. Shawn Coles and Clayton Steward voted “no.”

Rocky Sanguedolce was voted vice-president.

The next Montgomery Borough Council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Feb. 11 in the offices at 35 S. Main St.