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Law Enforcement Debating How to Handle Rising Murder Rate in Reading

Reading’s homicide rate finished 2018 at more than double what it was in 2017, a statistic that has alarmed both community members and law enforcement officers. City and county officials largely blame issues associated with drugs and gangs, but there have been differing opinions over which strategies can best resolve those issues.

Reading has a population of 88,000 and saw 21 murders in 2018 (as of December 18). The total for 2017 was nine.

There are some officials, such as the Berks County district attorney, who say the mayor needs to hire more police officers to serve the city and make it safer. The mayor’s office has stated that more effective ways of dealing with violent crime would be to implement programs that would help stem the opioid epidemic that has gripped Pennsylvania and the country as a whole and to invest in more street cameras throughout the city.

There have not yet been any clear strategies agreed upon, but one can expect law enforcement to attempt to crack down in one way or another on violent crime this year.

Know your rights

If you are charged with any type of crime, including a violent crime, you still have rights you are free to exercise — even if your arrest was for a serious offense. The very first step you take should be to contact a criminal defense lawyer, who can help you form a strategy for your case.

To learn more about what you should do if you are charged with a crime in Berks County, meet with trusted criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.


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