Tuesday July 11, 2017 SoSo Meeting

The next SoSo meeting is Tuesday, July 2017 at 7 PM in a meeting room on the lower level of the Bosler Memorial Library. We will be following up on the crime discussion at the last meeting concerning the vandalism in the park and the drug dealing. We will also follow-up from the unofficial meeting at Market Cross Pub to discuss the plans to increasing lighting and to install video surveillance in the park. We will have confirmation of the nominations for SoSo officers and begin planning the annual fall SoSo neighborhood party.

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May 31, 2017 Emergency SoSo Meeting

Carlisle Police’s community officers are Officers Hanner (jhanner@carlislepa.org) and Mulholhan (jmulhollan@carlislepa.org). The best way to contact the officers with questions or concerns is over email due to their irregular schedules.

Today’s meeting was led by Officers Hanner and VonVolkenburg.

May 21 Vandalism:
A copy of the borough’s curfew ordinance is available on the Borough’s website. Children under the age of 15 are not allowed out after 10 PM and under 18 should not be out after 11 PM, unless they are accompanied by a parent or are working. The police are already picking up kids for curfew violations. It is also illegal to be in the public parks

Bench in the Butcher Family Tot Lot May 21, 2017

after dark.

Traditionally the spring sees an increase in crimes such as car break-ins, graffiti, and curfew violations, all of which usually decline once the weather gets really hot.

Officer Rucinsky is working the Butcher Family Tot Log graffiti case. They have 3 suspects who they believe stole the spray paint from Walmart before vandalizing. They have a witness and are hoping to get Walmart surveillance footage. The police require probable cause to bring charges; they are trying to gather enough evidence to charge them with criminal mischief. The youths will probably either get fined or will be given community service. Residents whose personal property was damaged and the Borough are the victims in this case, but SoSo may be allowed to help write the impact statement if the Borough is willing. The police usually prefer the perpetrators get community service because guardians often pay (or can’t afford to pay) the fine, and the youth don’t learn anything.

Anyone who has has personal property that was damaged should save any receipts for the cost of repairs so they can apply for restitution. The police are planning to interview the parents and the children prior to making an arrest. It helps to provide a glimpse into their home life since, once charges are filed and the youths are sent to juvenile probation, the police no longer get updates. In Cumberland County the police are not subpoenaed to juvenile cases as a cost saving measure.

Vandalized slide in the park

Disruptive Youth:
There was a question about whether the police could provide a point person to provide follow-up for incidents that occurs in the public parks. The police said that since the Borough is the victim, they are the ones who usually get the information on what happened. However, the Crime Watch website posts all arrests that are made, but not summons, such as traffic tickets.
Child abuse or neglect should be reported to Children and Youth and criminal activity should be reported to the police. Adults can be charged with child endangerment for not property supervising their children and they are charged with curfew violations


The youths who have been causing disruptions in the park have also been witnessed hanging around the laundromat. They were seen lighting fireworks off in the laundromat and throwing burning books at a garage last year. The officers were not sure what the outcome of these reported events were, but promised to look into it.

Another neighbor reported that on Sunday, May 28th she witnessed Elena, age 13, one of the youths, being straddled face down while being whipped in the park by an older male while 2 other males watched, in what appeared to be an act of sexual assault. When asked if she needed help, Elena responded that they were “just playing.” It was unclear as to whether she actually wanted help, but was just afraid of retaliation.

A neighbor expressed concern that these children have no respect and no boundaries and that the situation is escalating.

It is thought that these children may be foster children and that many of them live at 310 S. Pitt St.
Someone posited that because there are so many rentals with people who don’t stay long in the community, that there is no neighborhood mentality, which prevents the relationship building that helps keep a community strong from happening.

Some of the children have told a neighbor that they used to be in a gang before they moved here, but Officer Andy said that to his knowledge the Crips are not in Carlisle. Someone has also seen them “flashing cash” on their Facebook page, but Officer Andy says that generally Carlisle is too small of a town for gangs to be established here unnoticed, and that most drug dealers in this area don’t use kids as drug runners.

Blacktop at the park before it was painted over by Public Works

There is also concern about how to approach the children about their behavior in the park, which includes littering, swearing, inappropriate conversations, and being disrespectful to other parents. Part of the problem is that the children are often in a large group and they seem to “front” and several of the kids in the group are older and larger.

There was a question as to what type of neighborhood programs are available to help kids. Officer Andy stated that in recent years there has been a swing back to community policing. The Carlisle Police are looking to join the Brother’s in Blue, which is a program where the police team up with Big Brother’s/Big Sister’s to have police officers paired with youths of similar interests to play ball or have lunch at school with them. The police also try to get into the middle school to speak to the eighth graders.

A Carlisle High School student commented that he got into a lot of mischief in middle school, but outgrew it by high school. He suggested that maybe these kids just need a positive atmosphere and time to grow up.

A neighbor, who is a probation officer, says that in the county where she works there is a program where youths work with the probation department to earn restitution to pay back their crimes, but she is not sure if such a program exists in Cumberland County.

Cumberland County has a Youth Aid Panel: https://www.ccpa.net/4363/Youth-Aid-Panel

Police Response:
The Carlisle Police have already increased their patrol around the park, but Officer Andy has also put in a request for more foot patrols. They used to have bike patrol, but they currently don’t have the manpower for it. They are hoping to hire a few more officers and then enroll some in bike school since police have to be certified to ride a bike on patrol.

Community police officers also attend all neighborhood association meetings. Any information that citizens pass on to the police about suspicious or disruptive behavior helps them better target their patrols; it helps to know when and where bad behavior is occurring. SoSo members are the police’s eyes on the street. He recommends emailing the officers with non-urgent information. The email addresses of Carlisle’s patrol police officers can be found here: https://www.carlislepa.org/departments/police/staff/patrol-section/. The police are hoping that their presence will act as a deterrent. He also hopes to have the officers approach these children to closer observe their situations.

Package Thefts:
Typically package thieves are either criminals for whom this is their MO or it is a crime of opportunity. Criminals who target packages are typically easier to catch, since they are more likely to get caught on home surveillance or there is a pattern. Criminals who just see a package that is easy to grab while walking by tend to be harder to catch.

The police suggest making requests for deliveries to be left someplace specific that is out of sight, like on a back porch, scheduling deliveries for when you are home or having packages require a signature, or having it delivered to and held at the post office. He also suggests that neighbors help each other by letting their neighbors know when they get a package or by grabbing their neighbors packages and getting them out of view, or holding onto it and bringing it to them later that day.

-Amnesty laws encourage heroin users to call for help so that the police can deliver Naloxone to save their friends that overdose. Users used to be more inclined to let their friends die rather than risk getting themselves in trouble with the law. However, now users can use in front of the police with impunity if the police are there responding to an overdose. The Carlisle Police have treated overdose on the same person twice within 12 hours. They cannot force a heroin user into rehab unless they are arrested and charged first. There was a question as to whether Dickinson College has a social work or public health program that could partner with the DA’s office. However, with fewer drug arrests, fewer users are in the system to be sent to drug rehab. The police hope to catch drug users in other ways in order to get them in the system. The police think that landlords can put in a lease that they can evict tenants for criminal activity, which allows for a civil eviction.

-The police think that the dealer on the house on Baltimore St. was arrested by the SWAT team in one of the raids in the early spring, but he thinks that there are still heroin users in the house.

-Neighbors have noticed activity at the laundromat parking lot on S. Pitt St. from 11 PM to 4 AM that appears to be drug deals.

-Police warned that there can be a delay in arrests at drug houses, especially drug dealer houses, because the County Drug Task Force gets involved, and they want to make sure that there is enough evidence for the cases to not be thrown out. The police will often catch drug dealers with traffic stops. They note in their system individuals who keep getting stopped for simple arrests.

-Police request that residents that report suspicious activity include as much information as they can such as description of the suspects, names, photographs, or videos. However, the police warn that residents should not do anything to endanger themselves, and that it is illegal to record audio and video of someone in a private setting without their permission. Photography is allowed and video without audio is allowed. Video and audio in a public setting is allowed, but residents must be careful to not record people inside of of their homes.

-The police have stopped using drop cameras due to technical problems.

-CamTech Wireless cameras require a line of sight between the towers or it increases the cost of adding the cameras. Residents can make requests as to the location of cameras in town. Officer Andy says the administration needs to look into whether there is a good line of sight in the Butcher Family Tot Lot.

-SoSo members are interested in having a camera placed in the park or having residents who live near the park purchase cameras to monitor the park. Someone suggested that wild game cameras are only about $200.

-Someone asked if there are incentives for homeowners to buy cameras to aim at the park. It was suggested that he contact the Borough Council about it, maybe grants are available.

-There is still money left in the Butcher Family Tot Lot Improvement project funds that could be put toward a camera in the park.

-The cameras in Carlisle are monitored live at the desk from 7-11, but there is not someone dedicated to monitoring it. However, the footage is recored and cameras themselves can be a deterrent. The police request that residents report what time and where they see suspicious activity because it helps them know when and where to focus their patrols.

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4/12/17 SoSo Meeting Minute

Officer Hannah, Carlisle Police Report:
-On March 6 warrants were issued to remove 27 people in Cumberland County, and just about everyone has been apprehended
-Heroin continues to be a problem in Carlisle and across the country.
-On 2 occasions arrests have been made at the house behind Vinny’s, but the officer was unsure if the residents are back in the home
-He encourages neighbors to report any suspicious activity, even though they may not see immediate results
-He warns residents to expect more nighttime activity as the weather warms. He reminds citizens that there is a curfew for children under the age of 18. Children less than 15 must be in by 10 PM and youth ages 16-17 must be in by 11 PM unless accompanied by an adult. Youth were recently cited for a curfew violation at 1 AM behind the high school.
-Removing a shopping cart from store property is consider theft and should be reported. The police usually notify Public Works who will pick up the carts.
-Police can site loud cars for noise violations no matter the time of day. Police will typically issue a warning the first time and a citation for a repeat offense.
-A neighbor reported cars driving fast down S. Pitt St. at night.
-The new police chief started March 1st. He has an impressive resume and 30 years of experience. He is looking to change the officer’s uniforms so they will no longer wear battle dress uniforms (BDU). The goal is to have officers look less militarized and more professional, and to allow easier care of the uniforms. The new chief seems hands on, but still let his sergeants operate without interference.
-The convicts who escaped from work release were apprehended. A Dickinson Public Safety Officer (DPS) stopped them and they gave her fakes names. They ran and she notified the police. Pedro the police dog tracked the suspects to Neville Rd where they were taken back into custody. Pedro is currently living with Officer Kuntz.

Michael Heyser, a Code Administration Officer, (717) 240-6640:
-In response to recent concerns about UGI installing new meters on the front of homes, Mike noted that UGI is required by law to provide 30 days notice to residents prior to beginning any work to allow the property owner the opportunity to have input. He know that on the 300 block of W. South St notices were left on residents front porches only 3 days prior to onset of work. Mike believes UGI may change how they handle things after public protest over this matter. There is a new law that meters have to be on the outside of buildings to allow gas to dissipate in case of a leak to reduce the chance of an explosion. The gas has an odor, but most meters are in basements where a resident may not notice the smell. He says that there are smaller, but more expensive, units UGI could use and that UGI may be forced to use if there is enough public pressure. Mike notes that the law about moving meters to outsides does allow exceptions for historic districts or if the meter blocks a handicap exit, but Mike notes that if the purpose of the law is public safety, a meter in the basement of a historic home is just as unsafe as in a home outside of a historic district. Mike says that the meters can have a cover placed over them or a planter placed above to hide them.
-A SoSo member noted that in England all lines, such as phone lines, are buried underground, which he thinks looks a lot better than having wires along all the streets draping into people’s homes.
-A preemptive warning letter was sent to the elderly lady in the overgrown property adjacent to the Butcher Family Tot Lot warning her to keep her lawn mowed and her weeds down this summer. It was noted that part of her white fence has fallen down.
-Mike is pleased to say that Carlisle residents by and large were prompt to clear the snow from their walks this winter.
-In response to concerns on Nextdoor about super heavy trash bags, Mike notes that the trash service has a right to refuse to pick them up. He also notes that our current policy rewards residents who generate less garbage and that our trash collectors are very good about picking up large items of all sorts.
-There are scheduled inspections of sidewalks in the borough, but if problem properties are reported, they can be addressed sooner. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain their sidewalks

SoSo News:
-Suggest an online vote to approve meeting minutes since recent meetings have lacked a quorum.
-May 13th is the SoSo neighborhood yard sale from 8 AM-3 PM.
-Suggest also having the SoSo Butcher Family Tot Lot work day on May 13th from 9 AM-11 PM. All volunteers will be entered in a drawing to win the gift certificates to the Carlisle Public Pool that Parks and Recreation provided. A tentative rain date is set for May 20th.
-Discussion of having an Easter egg hunt in the park next year.
-Budget items reviewed, plan to finalize and post soon.
-Discuss putting out feelers to see if anyone is interested in spearheading a new park improvement project. Whitney needs to check with Glenn at the DCA to see how much money if left from prior fundraising.
-Goal to have officers nominations in the fall and elections January 2018.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017 SoSo Meeting Agenda

Meeting at Bosler Memorial Library at 7PM

-Approve minutes from February meeting (available online at https://sosocarlisle.wordpress.com)
-Carlisle police officer’s report
-Finalize plans for spring work day in the Tot Lot
-Review and approve 2017 SoSo Budget
-Prepare survey for proposals for possible Stage II of Butcher Family Tot Lot Improvement Project
-Open forum

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February 8, 2017 SoSo Meeting Minutes

Police Report, from Officer Mulhollan:
-A new police chief was hired and he will start March 1st. He seems like a qualified candidate, but officers don’t have any insider information on him.
-Heroin Dealers
-Carlisle police are in the middle of serving a bunch of drug search warrants. They have been making arrests of dealers in an attempt to combat the heroin epidemic in Carlisle, which is part of a nationwide epidemic. They warned residents not to be alarmed if they hear the flares from their early morning raids, but as always, to call the police if they are worried about any suspicious noises.
-Carlisle police have used Narcan 13 times to treat heroin overdoses since they started using it summer 2016
-Residents are urged to do their part to report any suspicious activity to help the police find drug houses. Signs to watch for that suggest a house could be a dealer house are a lot of traffic in/out of a house, especially with visitors only staying for a short time, or if someone from a house is continually running out to cars. The police would like to be given the address of the residence in question and a description of the people involved and of their cars, particularly with license plates. Tracking down buyers can help lead the police to their sources.
-The police want to make it more difficult for dealers to get a foothold in our town
-Registration sticker are no longer being issued for vehicles in this state, but police can access PENDOT’s database by running a plate in order to tell if a plate is expired
-Arrests were made in connection with the garage break-ins, the preliminary hearings in that care have already begun.

Michael Heyser, a Code Administration Officer, (717) 240-6640:
-Reminds residents that they have 24 hours from the stop of a snowstorm to clear their sidewalks. They are supposed to clear an area 4 feet wide, but good efforts will be accepted. After the last snowfall 100 letters were issued, so anyone who got one of those letters will automatically be fined if they do not clear their sidewalks again.
-Mike wanted to know if there had been problems or if neighbors are bothered by the messy yard that backs up to the playground at the Butcher Family Tot Lot from the house on Walnut Street. The owner has been warned that she needs to make plans to have someone take care of her yard this year as the property has been problematic for many years. Concerns were expressed about stagnate water being a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
-A home on Hanover Street that has been condemned is slowly being renovated, the new owner plans to put apartments in the warehouse building.
-As always, Mike invites residents to call to report any code violations or with any questions

SoSo News:
-Voting membership at an all time high with 39 member, and there are 254 members in total
-As of 2/28/17 SoSo has $842.40 in the bank account
SoSo is still in need of a secretary, but anyone interested in applying for any office is encouraged to make their interest known
-Proposed that SoSo name the alley next to the Butcher Family Tot Lot that runs between Chestnut Avenue and Walnut St and parallel to School Avenue. Propose opening up suggestions to all SoSo members, then allowing voting members to cast a ballot to decide which name to submit
 *Update: Since the meeting, Whitney has been in contact with Bruce Koziar, from Codes, about the protocol for submitting a name change. The application must be submitted to the borough council between March 1-March 31st and the applicant is responsible for all costs associated with the name change. Bruce is currently looking into roughly how much that cost would be.
-Discussion of doing another park work day this spring and whether to try to coordinate it with Dickinson student’s service days. It was thought that it might be more useful for the students to volunteer alongside members of the community. The work day would need to be in March or April to include the students and would probably include cleaning up trash, clearing out the plant beds, and planting new flowers, and possibly spreading mulch again
-Discussion on whether to initiate another longer term (1-3 years) improvement project for the park. Process would include polling members for ideas, then voting on a project, and fundraising. Ideas included a pavilion on a concrete pad with 4 open sides, a fenced in community garden with raised beds, Bocce court, sports wall, Adirondack chairs or more benches, SoSo banners to mark the neighborhood, re-paving the basketball court, or installing Playworld shade canopies in order to provide shade for children while they are playing (may be able to apply for this grant: https://www.aad.org/members/volunteer/shade-structure-program). As part of the original Tot Lot Improvement Project, neighbors unanimously agreed that they want to keep the large grassy area open, so any new project should not impede on that space.
-Discussion on whether Carlisle would be able to coordinate a local version of the Boston Freedom Trail with audio tours available for anyone to acquire to guide them through Carlisle’s historic and local points of interest. Consider proposing to Carlisle’s robust Historical Society.
-Proposed that SoSo put out a 2017 budget as a rough outline of our plans for the year including spring park work days, fall neighborhood party, use of annual borough grant money at the end of the summer, etc
-Suggest setting a date and voting on one earlier this year for the neighborhood party at the end of summer/fall.
-Question whether there is anything that can be out up like speed bumps or signs about children playing to discourage speeding in the neighborhood. Suggestion of sign “Drive like your children live here”.

Next SoSo meeting will be on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the Bosler Memorial Library at 7PM.

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February 8, 2017 SoSo Meeting Agenda

The next SoSo meeting will be on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 7 PM at the Bosler Memorial Library upstairs in meeting room C. This is a make-up meeting to replace the missed January meeting.

-Update on winter membership drive
Create 2017 Budget
-Discuss survey of neighborhood concerns/issues and SoSo outreach
-Discuss improving the Butcher Family Tot Lot (ie, pavilion, bulletin board, sports wall, more benches, community garden, etc)
-Coordinate spring park work day/Dickinson Day of Service
– Brainstorm ideas of names to submit for the unnamed alley along the Butcher Family Tot Lot

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October 12, 2016 SoSo Meeting Minutes

October 12, 2016 SoSo Meeting Minutes
-Minutes from the July 2016 meeting were approved
Police report:
– A suspect from the Dairy Queen robbery was arrested, he is also accused of forgery
– The murder at the Legion is still under investigation, but the police are getting Crime Watch tips
-There have been reports in Carlisle of someone dressing up as a clown and jumping out to scare people, which is considered disorderly conduct. A victim fell over and was hurt. The clown is reported to be wearing a clown mask with orange hair. It may be part of the national social media trend involving individuals dressed as clowns threatening to kidnap children and teachers. It started on the West Coast and has moved east.
-Home break in on 400 block of Arch Street bt the YMCA: AC unit remove and suspect entered the home in daylight through the back and stole 2 laptops, a camera, and $200 cash. This type of crime is usually performed on unsecured window AC units which can provide easy entrance to a home. Suspects have been known to knock on the door to see if anyone is home. If someone answers, they will usually come up with a flimsy question for the home’s resident.
-Stolen items are sometimes sold at the local pawn shops, such as the ones on Hanover street. Fortunately, both of those shops take IDs and phone numbers from all sellers.
-In response to the episodes of book burning in the Butcher Family Tot Lot, the police have been running extra patrols in the area. Residents should call the police if they see anyone hanging in the park at night.
-There are still reports of criminals checking car doors and entering and robbing unlocked cars or cars with visible bags or laptops left in them.
-The police have been testing different brands of body cameras and are still deciding which vendor to use. They are also still working on finding a new police chief
Annual SoSo Neighborhood Party:
-Plan to order 26 piece wrap tray from Southside Deli for $64.99, get tablecloths, drinks, prizes, and supplies for games. The expenses need to be sent for an electronic vote for approval
-Different fall themed games were discussed and the group present at the meeting decided on three games. The first is a Harvest Dash relay race in which 2 teams of kids line up to take turns scooping up bird seed and running it down to dump in their teams bucket. First team to fill their bucket wins. The group also decided to have tic-tac-toe with a board drawn in chalk and mini pumpkins and gourds used as the pieces. The third game was a ring toss with 3 different size pumpkins worth different points as the targets.

-There were volunteers to help with set-up and clean-up
Borough Council news:
Connie Bires, our borough council woman, announced that the next Borough Council meeting would concern the budget season and there is also an upcoming employees relation and community participation meeting, and discussion on the ethics ordinance
Light up the Dark Nights:
There was a request to remind us all that keeping porch lights on at night costs next to nothing, but is vital for public safety. Many residents have difficulties navigating Carlisle’s uneven sidewalks in the dark and a friendly porch light could aid their safe trip home, especially as the days get shorter. There was some discussion about types of public street lighting used in other communities including gas and solar.
SoSo membership and outreach:
-Reminder that it is still $5 annually to be a voting member, which allows a voice in all matters decided on by SoSo. Sign-up now and the cost will include the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017.
-There was discussion of putting up door hangers in the spring of 2017 to help spread awareness of our organization as many neighbors are still not aware of SoSo
Unnamed Alley:
-The idea to have a SoSo contest to propose a name to the Borough Council for the unnamed alley along the Butcher Family Tot Lot was discussed. Carlisle allows names for unnamed streets to be proposed every March. It was decided to contemplate this proposal and to act on it further at the next SoSo meeting on January 11, 2017.
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