Hoping for improved communication

It’s been a frustrating and, in some cases, frightening, spring
and summer for several residents in Pennsbury Township. There have been a rash
of burglaries, maybe as many as seven or more, during the last four months.

Victims have notified police, but what has been frustrating
for residents and reporters is that the police have not notified the general public
or the press as properly as they should. State police fax press releases on
incidents three to four times per week, but the reports about these Pennsbury
burglaries were not included.

ChaddsFordLive.com first learned of these unreported crimes
from residents—some of them victims—in July. Inquiries were made and Tpr. Corey
Monthei, the community affairs officer at Troop J, Avondale barracks, did
confirm that there had been “a handful” of burglaries in Pennsbury between
April and July. He was unable, however, to discuss the ongoing investigation,
nor could he explain why there had been no press releases on the matter.

Last week this incomplete communication was brought to the
attention of Lt. Tracy Brown, the commander of the Avondale barracks since
April. Lt. Brown said he would work to rectify the situation and some of the,
heretofore, unreported information is being released. At least a few of the
press releases have now been sent.

This is a step in the right direction, but there should
never have been a breakdown in communication in the first place.

Many readers will recall the deaths of Miles and Mary Warner
of Chadds Ford. The elderly couple was found shot to death in their Atwater
Road home in December of 2002. But for two years neither the state police nor
the Delaware County District Attorney’s office would comment on anything,
saying nothing more than the investigation was active. All that was said was
that the victims were found shot in the head.

This lack of communication led to excess concern among
residents, especially those living on Atwater Road.

The same reaction can be seen now. The criminal activity
followed by a lack of communication by the police is getting to people. One
resident was talking this past weekend about getting a firearm. While all
people have the right to self defense, including the use of lethal force, the reaction
now is due to the combination of the crimes and concern that police aren’t
doing anything. It’s a fear
reaction, a reflex, and it’s understandable.

With an improved flow of information, we know that much of
the fear can be eliminated and that residents will regain trust in the state
police.

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