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Governor, Senators attend crime summit in Berks

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jan 18 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 18 2013 10:02:42 PM CST

Political leaders said it's all about follow up and action after their closed-door crime summit.

WYOMISSING, Pa. -

Political leaders said it's all about follow up and action after their closed-door crime summit. Lawmakers from local, state and federal government met together in Wyomissing looking for ways to solve the crime problem that has plagued the Greater Reading area.

Governor Tom Corbett said he came to the Berks County Crime Summit because of Al Boscov.

"If you know Al it's pretty hard to turn down an invitation from Al," said Corbett during a reporter briefing.

Al Boscov said putting everyone together from local, state and federal government was a start.

"The thing is you have to have follow up," said Boscov.

The district attorney John Adams agreed, "I look forward to some follow up so maybe we can institute some new programs obtain some new investigative tools."

Adams said he wants to address gun violence and told those gathered about ideas he wants to see funded.

"I believe it was productive. We had some good open discussions," said Adams.

Corbett told reporters, "We need to have participation from the community."

But the summit was closed to the public. And some protested outside the hotel and were frustrated they couldn't hear the governor's statement themselves.

"Our point is fewer guns more teachers," said Karen Feridun, "Funding is going in the wrong direction."

The governor did not mention education during the reporter briefing or how he has cut funding to it. But he did say the root causes of crime have to be addressed.

"It takes this much law enforcement and this much seeding," said Corbett gesturing with his hands showing a small gap and then a larger gap between his fingers.

County Commissioner Christian Leinbach said after the summit there were concrete next steps.

The county and city law enforcement will sit down to figure out how to better work together.

The county and the state lawmakers will work on consolidating some of the local police.

Federal lawmakers will look into funding crime programs that have dried up.

The United States Attorney will form a joint law enforcement intelligence committee.

A full-action plan is expected within 30 days.