Wednesday, October 11, 2017 SoSo Meeting Agenda

The next SoSo meeting is on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7 PM in a meeting room on the lower level of the Bosler Memorial Library.
-Approve minutes from July 2017 meeting
-Follow-up from neighborhood party
-Community Police Report
-Neighbor updates on crime/park lighting/camera
-Finalize planning for Saturday, October 21, 2017 Neighborhood clean-up at 9 AM
-Open discussion/comment/question period

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Everyone is invited to the 2017 Annual SoSo Neighborhood Party

Everyone is invited to the 2017 Annual SoSo Neighborhood Party
on Sunday, October 1st from 3:
30-6:30 PM at the Butcher Family Tot Lot between Chestnut Ave and School Ave. This is a great chance to put a face to the names you see posting on Nextdoor and a fun way to strengthen our sense of community. Wraps from the Southside Deli and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Please bring a dish to share. There will be fall themed games for kids and kids at heart. Come out and share a fun evening with your neighbors!
Hope to see everyone there!
Please RSVP by replying the post on Nextdoor.com. RSVPs are requested, but not required, so please come if you forgot to RSVP!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017 SoSo Meeting

SoSo Officer Nominations:
Motions to approve the nominations of the following officers for an election to take place via Nextdoor from 7/14-7/20, with terms starting 7/21/17, was approved:
President: Whitney Amato
Vice-President: Krisjand Rothweiler
Membership/Communication: Stephen Hughes
Secretary: Robin Craig
Treasurer: Salim Makhlouf

SoSo Status Update:
– There are currently 318 members, including 287 associate members and 41 voting members, an all time high!
– SoSo currently has $828.30 in out checking account

Police Report by Officer J. Hanner:
Juvenile Crime in the Park:
– Lt. Latshaw reported that the juveniles involved in the vandalism of the Butcher Family Tot Lot are being adjudicated. They are gathering information on restitution fees, including reimbursing volunteers for their time. Three arrests have been made and one youth was charged with disorderly conduct and the other two with retail theft for stealing the spray paint from Walmart.
– The two girls who fought by the Butcher Family Tot Lot were issued citations for disorderly conduct.
– The police encourage calls when the kids are smoking cigarettes or marijuana in the park. Most of the time the kids hide it when the police show up, but hopefully their presence will stop kids from smoking in the park. They have not been able to make any arrests.

Drugs:
– There has been drug activity on Baltimore Street near Arch Street and Walnut Street. The police are documenting all calls they get and are forwarding the information to the drug detective. The police advise residents to keep calling in when they see any suspicious activity. In particular, details about time and place and description of cars and people involved. Recently this kind of information allowed them to catch a drug dealer. The police want to encourage residents to not lose heart; there are drug detectives out there making buys and building cases even if we don’t see any signs of anything being done.
– Personal cameras can be a deterrent and, if they show hand to hand transactions, especially if zoomed in on a face, they can be helpful. Police warn citizens that if they decide to film criminal activity that they should be discrete and not confront the suspects.
– Neighbors report that there are signs of drug deals at all hours around Baltimore/S. Pitt St and that they see the same guy selling. Neighbors have been calling it in to the police.
– The last shooting in Carlisle was a month and a half ago, and they are not sure if it was drug related. Most of the drug dealing in town has been non-violent.
– It is mostly the same group of people involved in drug dealing, and the police know where most of the drugs around here are coming from. It takes time to build a case, and whenever someone is arrested there is always someone waiting in the wings to step in.
– In March there were big arrests, so now the dealers are making the runs. The police list where the arrests were made, but not necessarily where the dealers live or where they were dealing. A ‘Right to Know’ request can be made with the Borough Secretary to find that out. The Carlisle Police’s Facebook page links to arrest information.
– There is no “arrest to rehab” program in Carlisle. There are rehabilitation programs at Holy Spirit Hospital and Roxbury, but they require a 48 hour detox first. There are not enough detox facilities, and they don’t keep people long enough. Increased heroin use tends to be followed by Hepatitis C epidemics.
– Fentanyl use is increasing. Fentanyl is very toxic and can affect someone if it is inhaled or touched, so never touch it if you see it.
– It is thought that the forensics activity on Arch near Willow last week was possibly related to an overdose/fatality, but they are looking into whether to charge a homicide.
– The police are hoping to eventually have cameras in all the parks, but they are not sure if our park specifically is being considered for a camera now.
– There is no camera at the laundromat on S. Pitt St.

General:
– The police have already had a busy summer. In the last 2 months, they have responded to 80 assaults and 280 disturbances ranging from noise disturbances to fights. There have been numerous overdoses and two overdose deaths.
– There have been multiple curfew violations, including one by Wendy’s last night
– There have not been any reports of stolen packages in the last 4 weeks, but there also have not been any new leads.
– The trail behind LeTort Park was lit on fire, police are investigating.
– The police have not started any bike patrols, but they are still understaffed. They hired one new officer who still has to go through the academy, which takes 7 months. The chief is hoping to hire a few more officers, but even if they don’t have to go through the academy, they still need 3 months of training. The chief has taken a list of officers interested in getting their bike patrol certification, and he is looking for bike certification courses.
– Dress uniforms are now being worn in the day and after 7 PM the older uniforms are being worn
– The police encourage citizens to be their eyes and ears, to keep calling, and to be patient. The number is (717) 243-5252 ext. 3 for non-emergencies. After hours that number will redirect you to the county dispatch.
– The Crime Watch website tends to be a couple weeks behind, and it only reports misdemeanors and felonies.

SoSo’s Crime Response:
– Andrea from Parks and Recreation has the numbers of the light poles for the lights in School Alley and “no name” Alley next to the Butcher Family Tot Lot that are dim or dying and the information about which trees are blocking the lighting and she will have public works fix the lighting.
– The other neighborhood associations paid for a portion of the cameras in the other parks, and the rest was paid for by the Borough. But we do not know the breakdown of how much of the $30,000 per camera was paid by each party
– Kids can be banned from the public parks if there is justification and a police report documenting the offense. However, these bans are difficult to enforce.
– There is no legal parking on “no name” Alley by the Butcher Family Tot Lot, but a sign to help enforce it would require the support of an ordinance.
– By the grassy area on Chestnut Avenue there is a ‘No Parking’ sign; there is no adjacent parking for the Butcher Family Tot Lot.
– The Borough’s Parking Enforcement Authority are the ones to contact about adding handicap parking for the Butcher Family Tot Lot. They would request the Borough Council create an ordinance for such a parking space.
– A motion was made and approved to purchase two “No Parking” signs at $20 each to put along the fence at the unnamed alley adjacent to the park pending approval from Parks and Recreation.
– Another motion was made to purchase signs indicating that the park is under surveillance, subject to approval from Parks and Recreation. Whitney will email Andrea about the signs.
– We should encourage all residents of SoSo to leave their porch lights on all night. It is a cost effective deterrent of crime. It also helps neighbors who get home late or who are out walking their dogs in the evening. We also encourage residents to call the police any time they see any suspicious activity. We will place the number for the Carlisle Police Department, (717) 243-5252 on SoSo’s website (sosocarlisle.com).
– It was discussed whether SoSo should send a letter to the owners of the laundromat on S. Pitt Street, but a neighbor who has a good repertoire with them offered to talk to the owner about whether they are willing to install a camera to help catch and deter drug dealers from using their parking lot. She reports that the owners have been working with the police on this issue.
– The neighbor with the white garage whose property backs onto the park along School Avenue has offered to leave the light on his garage on at night.

Annual SoSo Party:
– Plan on setting a date for a Sunday afternoon in late September. Bonnie and Robin have volunteered to help Whitney organize the event. They will meet separately to make the arrangements.

Neighborhood Clean-up:
– Stephen Hughes researched grabbers and found some for $18 that can be used for the neighborhood clean-up. The clean-up will be scheduled for a Saturday morning in early October. There will be an optional breakfast at Fay’s Country Kitchen (203 S. Hanover St.) from 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M., and the actual clean-up will be from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. Volunteers will meet at Stephen’s house on the 200 block of S. Pitt St. to pick-up supplies. Stephen believes he still has gloves and vests left over from prior clean-ups. He believes that they originally came from PennDot. If the motion to purchase the grabbers is approved via the vote on Nextdoor, then Stephen will purchase the grabbers.

Other SoSo events:
– Having an Easter Egg hunt was discussed, but it was decided that it may be more practical to have a spring flower planting event for children instead.
– Members were reminded that ALLARM has an adopt-a-storm-drain program to help minimize street flooding and pollution runoff into the LeTort creek by helping to keep storm drains clear of trash, leaves, and debris. For more information or to sign up visit their website at: http://www.dickinson.edu/info/

Borough Council Update from councilwoman Deb Fulham-Winston:
– The Borough is engaged in a long range project to repair and replace water mains and sewer lines over the next 40 years. Some have already started to fail. High problem areas that take in a lot of storm water are first in line to get fixed. In Carlisle, 90% of the water drains into LeTort. There is talk on installing water gardens to help manage runoff and of decreasing the amount of concrete. The old plant along Fairground Avenue will have flower beds and in the North East they are going to grow water absorbing plants. The city has also budgeted money to fix the wall around the Molly Pitcher cemetery over the next 8 to 9 years. They are replacing and reinforcing the wall as problems arise, such as the segment that recently collapsed, which has already been repaired.
– If there is an issue you wish the Borough Council to take up, call ahead and you can always be added to the agenda so you will be guaranteed a chance to speak.

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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.

Heroin:
-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.

Cameras:
-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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