An estimated crowd of approximately 100 local residents attended a town hall gathering last night dubbed “Take Back Your Community.”
The event was a joint effort between the Kittanning Police Department and the Kittanning Crime Watch group. There was standing room only in the Fellowship Hall of the First Church of God.
A panel discussion was held that included representatives from various organizations including Police Chief Bruce Mathews, Mayor Scott Kline, Sheriff Bill Rupert, District Attorney Katie Charlton, Coroner Brian Myers, 9-1-1 Dispatchers, and the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission.
Chief Mathews said the residents were also given an opportunity to respond.
“The question and answer period was probably almost as long as the speakers talked. There was a lot of interaction.”
While general crime was addressed, much of the discussion was centered around illegal drugs or misuse of prescription drugs.
Jennifer McCroskey, a prevention specialist with the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission, displayed various things found in the home and illustrated some hiding places used to hide drugs. She also stressed there was a Crisis Department Hotline with Certified Recovery Specialists to discuss treatment options with individuals wanting to deal with addiction: 1-877-333-2470.
Mayor Kline was impressed with the turnout and hopes to continue future town hall meetings.
“This is something I would like to do twice a year – perhaps in the Spring and the Fall. We can bring these people back together and talk about the results they are starting to see. A lot of the folks gave testimonial tonight of seeing results in town, seeing places where there was activity, but it is no more. I think with meetings like this, we as a governing body, we can accomplish more and show the folks we mean business and we want to do everything to make Kittanning a better place to be.”
Chief Mathews said the local Crime Watch has approximately 15 participants.
“This is also the grand kick-off for a reinvigorated Crime Watch and to let them know we are out there. Crime Watch isn’t an active patrol, but a place where we can gather, build a positive rapport and build a positive interaction with your police department.”
Crime Watch meetings are the second Monday of the month at 7PM at Kittanning Hose Company #4.