The leader of the citizens crime watch group on the north side of South Whitehall Township told township commissioners that the police department should do more to inform citizens of trending crime—such as a recent rash of burglaries along Walbert Avenue.
On Wednesday night, John Oplinger told commissioners that every time he gets a crime alert he spends a lot of time on the telephone, calling neighbors to tell them about it and to remind them to report people who look suspicious.
But he claimed South Whitehall Township police have been silent about what has happened recently to businesses along Walbert Avenue. There have been at least seven break-ins in recent weeks, he said, yet he has seen little about it in the local media.
Police Chief Thomas J. Toth countered that the information is made available to local media, through the daily police log. Further, the department makes crimemapping data available to the public via its Website, Toth said.
Oplinger said that many of his neighbors are elderly and do not use computers, and therefore do not get to see this data.
Whitehall police use a service to map their crime. The service, crimemapping.com, takes
the township's police data and applies it to a Google map, providing
information on crimes by block, but not by a specific address for privacy
reasons. Residents can sign up here to receive alerts and
they can go to the site to access information.
South Whitehall police also post statistics and reported crimes on a monthly basis on the township website for each of the two Crime Watch areas. Neighbors are Reporting Crime (N.A.R.C) covers the area of the township that is north of Tilghman Street. Residents Around Dorney Are Reporting (R.A.D.A.R.) covers the area south of Tilghman Street.
As of Friday, the most recent statistics posted on the township website were for the month of August:
Patch also has reported on recent burglaries. Among the stories: