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Times Tribune
Crime-fighting forum Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre

March 30, 2013

HARRISBURG - A who's who of crime fighters are scheduled to participate Tuesday in a Senate committee meeting in Wilkes-Barre that will focus on combating violence and crime in smaller cities.
State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan are headliners in what is billed as a roundtable discussion by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at King's College.

The meeting is in the Walsh and Fitzgerald committee rooms on the third floor of the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center.

Prosecutors and police chiefs from Northeast Pennsylvania will also participate. They include Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola; Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis; Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobais; Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Gerard Dessoye; Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea; and Nanticoke Police Chief William Shultz, according to the office of committee Chairwoman Lisa Boscola, D-18, Bethlehem Twp.

Other participants are Robert Curry, president of the Hazleton Integration Project; Detective Charles Balogh, Luzerne County Crimewatch Coalition: Teri Ooms, coordinator of Operation Gang-Up; Paul Lindenmuth, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at King's College: and the Rev. Shawn Walker, founder of the Building Bridges Campaign in Wilkes-Barre.

The Senate roundtable is part of an ongoing effort to address rising street crime in Northeast Pennsylvania, said Sen. John Yudichak, D-14, Nanticoke.

Mr. Yudichak said the discussion will focus on a regional initiative that helped lead to new state laws to crack down on gang activity. Meanwhile, Mrs. Kane is seeking more funding for her office in the 2013-14 state budget for a child predator unit and to target Mexican drug cartels, he said. "I think it's a very opportune time to bring all the key players to Luzerne County," said Mr. Yudichak.

Contact the writer: rswift@timesshamrock.com

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