Mar 30, 2011

Allentown Citizen Patrol

Allentown City Council is debating whether to give Ernie Atiyeh $8,000 to start up a COP program, Citizens on Patrol. Atiyeh estimates the program would cost about $150,000 to start, and then about $90,000 a year, thereafter. Supposedly, the remaining funds would come from corporate donations and other sources. In today's Morning Call, reporter Chris Baxter outlines the different issues involving liability and precedent. The patrollers would be volunteers, while Atiyeh would pay himself $10,000 a year. If indeed Allentown's contribution would be a one time event, or limited to $8,000 a year, why open the can of worms for 5% of the program cost? Although the 5% may pay Atiyeh, the program can't really roll without the other $142,000. It would better serve Allentown taxpayers if we weren't the first donation in the kettle.


Local said...

Who are these people?
No good can come from this.
The last thing Allentown needs is folks running around thinking that THEY are police.
Everybody now has a cell phone.
Citizens can and do call the real police when they see a crime, accident, or parking infraction.
All of us living in the city should
participate in this manner.
Let the police do their job.
There are already enough thugs on our streets.

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

What is the $8,000 to be used for? If it's to start funding Atiyeh's (or anybody's) salary, it should be rejected.

I can understand that Council approval would be needed for the program in order to realistically solicit corporate donations, but this issue needs serious consideration before ANY cash outlay is made from taxpayer funds.

Above all, isn't Council's consideration of the plan an indictment on Pawlowski - and Council itself - regarding the real state of public safety in the city?

Maybe Atiyeh and his group didn't get the memo that crime is down in the city.

Anonymous said...

OMG - A disaster in the making

Anonymous said...

If everyone else is a volunteer, just exactly WHY does Atiyeh get $10,000?

So he can donate generously to the campaign re-election war chests of the Progressive Liberal Democrats on Allentown City Council?

Anonymous said...

There's a city in mind
Come along and take that ride
Baby it's alright, baby it's alright

And it's not so far away
But it's growing day by day
Baby it's alright, baby it's alright

They can tell you what to do
And they'll make a fool of you
But it's alright, baby it's alright!

We're on a road to Nowhere...


Bill said...

I agree with the first comment by "local said"

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Palowski just hire The Fairgrounds Police to go out and patrol the city?

Anonymous said...

Like Ernie very much but he shouldn't accept a cent! It sounds too self-promoting. Either you do something to help the city for free or you hire professionals. I'm disappointed he is asking for money.

Anonymous said...

Permission to Change the Topic:
Mr. Molovinsky,
We know you grew up near the new
Bennett car dealership so that's why we're asking your opinion of the following.
Have you seen the recently installed light posts in front of the medical labs facility directly across Lehigh Street from the new Bennett dealership?
Here's what a longtime neighbor said about this plan.
he said a major soda distribution center is located nearby at S. 12th Street and as these 18-wheelers turn from their side street next to Queen City Diner onto Lehigh, how can they avoid getting caught in a nightmare traffic situation? There will be cars clogging Vultee and Lehigh while these trucks try to turn and that's not even mentioning the Mack Fire House traffic in this plan. What do you think? We understand an area parent recently wrote a guest editorial letter to address his concerns for the safety of his child who enjoys working at the nearby Good Shepherd facility and even without this light and the new dealership faces what he calls a dangerous situation crossing Lehigh in front of the CVS bus stop. Now, what's going to happen to these clients amd anyone else who risks crossing Lehigh?

Anonymous said...

Will this patrol use guns?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8;23, i have not seen the new light. if they have added an additional light, at a non-intersection, just for bennet's benefit, it is wrong. i tried for several years it get a light installed at a very dangerous intersection (24th and union) to no success.

michael molovinsky said...

The following comment is from Scott Armstrong


This is just a bad idea and the mere fact that it is being considered by our elected officials is an indictment of their incompetence. Remember just a few years ago Ed Pawlowski charged a well intentioned but somewhat challenged woman to do citizen patrols in the downtown’s high crime area. He should have been ashamed of himself for that act of callous disregard. Of course he wasn’t and now he has found a well known toady willing to take up a similar effort for $10,000. This is what passes for “serious” in Allentown.

Scott Armstrong

Guy Williams said...

Somehow i have an image of crossing guards along west turner and walnut at 3PM.God bless us.On another note,Mike I am waiting for one of your classic posts as only you can do. this time on one of my favorite recollections.One of the unsung heroes of our past.The Mexican General.

michael molovinsky said...

guy, much to my parent's dismay, the general knew me well. i will do such a post in the near future

Anonymous said...

MM - Regarding the traffic light:

The new light at Bennett IS going to be a traffic problem. Instead of making one of the city's entryways from I-78 more visitor friendly, this will needlessly congest an area that already has two lights within a quarter mile of each other (Vultee & Downeyflake).

Also, there are many other businesses along Lehigh Street that generate more business than Bennett that do not have an exclusive light. Therefore, this move smacks of political favoritism.

When the site was being considered for a WalMart (or other uses), there was always to be access to Vultee Street for the bulk of the site's traffic. This was to negate the need for another light in such a short distance on Lehigh Street.

But this is Pay-To-Play Allentown, where a well-placed campaign contribution can get you what you want.

City Council also had a vote on this and I'm sure the usual rubber stamp was used when approving it.

Anonymous said...

MM -

I don't mean to go off topic again, but I did want to make you and your readers aware of something that had cropped up here a few weeks ago.

You had done a post about a building on the East Side along Hanover Avenue. At some point someone had asked about the traffic light on Hanover Avenue and Dauphin Street. I had added a comment about the proposed New England Avenue.

At the Morning Call's website, Dan "The Road Warrior" Hartzell gives a detailed run down on New England Avenue and the construction timetable of the American Parkway project. If anyone is interested in the subject they should check it out.