Sep 3, 2014

Charlie Tuna and Allentown Crime

When Charlie Tuna was introduced in 1961 he looked good, but he didn't taste good. The punch line was Sorry Charlie, and he was rejected for the tuna can. Charlie's still the mascot, but now he's a beloved figure, who helps mom plan an easy dinner. Allentown's fighting it's crime perception problem with additional surveillance cameras. J.B. Reilly is footing most of the bill, and the cameras will also feed into his private security force. An article in the Morning Call says that "If a crime has already occurred, the camera footage becomes an invaluable tool for identifying potential suspects and assisting in locating crucial evidence." There-in lies the problem. Knowing that your mugger will be apprehended isn't much consolation when you're sitting on the curb with your head bleeding. Like the early Charlie Tuna advertisements, visitors don't want a city that looks safe, they want a city that is safe.  Before you apologists foam at the mouth, I believe that Allentown is safe. The new cameras are being sold and installed by Charlie Thiel, who is being groomed as the next mayor.

Editor's Notes: When I read the article on mcall about the surveillance cameras, I immediately thought about Charlie Tuna from the early 1960's. When I wrote the above piece earlier this morning, I had no idea that there was an article in today's paper about canned tuna fish, headlined, Sorry Charlie, just a literary coincidence. Also a coincidence, is any name similarity between Charlie Tuna and Charlie Thiel.  I've known Thiel for years, and believe that Allentown will benefit from any political ambition on his part.


Anonymous said...


michael molovinsky said...

i believe that he has the background and experience to be a qualified candidate. i'll have to wait until 2017, when all the candidates come forward, to know whom i'm supporting.

Anonymous said...

I know Mr. Thiel as well and would not vote for him as mayor. I might as well vote for Pawlowski. Thiel will ultimately bow to the same special interests groups that have supported Pawlowski. Same philosophy, processes and interests but a new face.

Show me a man or women who is committed and passionate and is not afraid to do what is right in spite of what the boys club feels. That is the person I will vote for. Sorry that is not Thiel. He won't even take an unpopular stand on school board issues. Nothing personal, only political, but if nothing changes, nothing changes. If he does run let’s see who his major contributors are.

Allentown might want to secede from the rest of the US and become an absolute monarchy with JP as the man in charge. His own security force which will probably out-man and outgun the APD? He and Morris sitting together as the press conference? He came from LVH and look at their security force – the boys in black. Are you kidding me? This is downright scary stuff. Wake the F up Allentown.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:22, the intent of this post was to analyze if adding more cameras to centercity will really help the crime perception, much less the reality.

come the next mayoral election, voters will only be able to choose from who runs. as i stated in a previous post, i believe that thiel will be one of the candidates.

Anonymous said...

The camera program has been a help. Keep up the program.

But, the public has a perception that crime in the downtown is a lot more severe than it really is.

That perception is heavily influenced by the belief that people who look different are bad. Part is just racism and unsubstantiated fear of the unknown.

The actual crime is not that bad when you subtract the domestic violence and out of view drug activity. People going to events in crowds are not going to be experiencing personal crime.

Anonymous said...

"People going to the events in crowds are not going to be experiencing personal crime"


I used to pay just five bucks for my American Hockey League tickets to see the Nighthawks play in New Haven back in the late 80s / early 90s ... and I could sit WHEREVER I wanted (read, center ice - fifteen rows up) regardless of actual seat assingment (ushers only cared to see tickets in order to make sure a 'patron' actually paid to get in the building).

Phantoms tickets will be at least $ 20 with the seats at center ice fifteen rows up costing considerably more.

Is EVERYTHING else in life at least four times as much as what it cost back in the late 80s / early 90s?

I think the Phantoms are state-sponsored pirates.

Julian Kern said...

The "private security" you mention is actually a security company that I work for. Allied Barton Security Services. I don't work at any of the city center sites and don't want to. As for the cameras...So the city has all these surveillance cameras throughout the city monitoring crime on our streets but my question is are these cameras being utilized to the fullest? I have heard multiple residents complain that incidents would occur where these cameras are and the police had no recording of it happening. I think the city needs to look into if these cameras have enough staff to monitor activity going on. One example is the 400 block of west Washington street where there is daily drug activity and vandalism. Is that camera being monitored enough?

Anonymous said...

So, in other words, we clearly just don't have enough Big Brothers watching, do we?

Well, why don't we just hire the La Cosa Nostra and simply pay protection fees?

Either way, WE THE PEOPLE get shaken down for more money by another entity 'for our own benefit'.

Why am I not as excited about The Great Transformation as all the rest of the Cheerleaders?

Anonymous said...

A big part of the perception problem IS the cameras, and their accompanying blue lights. As one drives along looking at all the cameras, you are not reassured that you are safe but reminded that you're in an area that needs additional security.

Contrast that with more upscale suburban malls where you likely have just as many cameras, but without all the attention being drawn to them.

And while we're talking about government actions creating negative perceptions, wait until the Eighth Street Bridge is caged in. Between that, the cameras, and the blue lights, Allentown will have the look of a modern day prison/war zone.

Julian Kern said...

I was just pointing out that the cameras are useless if they aren't monitored properly. I have heard numerous times from people that crimes would happen and they had no footage of it.