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RPD reveals results of downtown improvement effort

Published On: Apr 25 2013 03:00:23 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2013 03:08:00 PM CDT
Downtown Reading

Patrick Manwiller/69 News

READING, Pa. -

Reading police officers have just about seen it all while conducting special patrol details in center city.

The department announced Thursday results of 19 details its officers conducted in the area of 4th and Penn streets during the first three months of 2013.

Officers on foot and in patrol cruisers made 31 arrests for offenses that include public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, drugs and diving under the influence, police said.

Thirty-seven people were taken into custody for failing to pay past parking and traffic tickets, said police, adding that six others were wanted on bench warrants for failing to appear in court.

Vice officers also conducted prostitution sweeps of the same area, arresting both prostitutes and their patrons, police said.

Officers also issued 176 speeding tickets during the 19 details, said police, who noted that more than half of the speeders were also cited for other violations, including driving without a license or with a suspended license, and for not having insurance.

"Penn Street is a focal point in our community," said Mayor Vaughn Spencer, D-Reading. "Although the numbers are concerning, this sends out a message to the community that we are improving our city’s standards and will be holding everyone to them."

Police said their additional efforts downtown were in response to complaints about the quality of life in the area.