Plans To Fight Crime, Violence In Lycoming County

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WILLIAMSPORT -- People all across our area say they are sick and tired of crime. They want a crackdown to curb violence and get drugs off our streets.

In Williamsport, officials said heroin has led to an increase in crime and violence. Officials in Lycoming County laid out plans Friday to make the streets safer.

Several security cameras watch over the Timberland Apartments in Williamsport. Officials in Lycoming County say soon there will be more. District Attorney Eric Linhardt has announced plans for 36 new cameras outside the Timberland Apartments, paid for using drug forfeiture money.

Linhardt said Lycoming County has recently seen an increase in violent crime because of heroin.

Police said a shooting in May was one of many heroin-related crimes.

"We have a lot of individuals that are simply seizing to profit from the drug activity that's going on," Linhardt said.

The D.A. and other officials announced new programs to fight drugs and crime in the county.

Tienna Crow lives in the TIMBERLAND apartments with her 4-month-old son, Takoda.  She thinks more security cameras could help cut down on drug use.

"I don't notice it too much but I hear about it a lot. Definitely, cameras would be something they could use."

Linhardt said the drug forfeiture money will also be used to pay Williamsport Police officers overtime to do extra patrolling at the city's parks.

"At nighttime it would be good. There hasn't been too much activity during the day, but at nighttime we've heard people making noise," said Russ Lindstrom of Williamsport

Williamsport police said there may be as many as ten additional officers patrolling parks.

Brandon Park is one of several in Williamsport where patrols will increase.

"We're here almost every day of the week. We've had problems with graffiti on our press box and vandalism at the park," said Jared Mahon.

Officials expect the new crime fighting initiatives in Williamsport and surrounding communities to take effect within the next month.