MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF

 

  During the past year, the Borough of Berwick Police Department has seen tremendous change. First we said goodbye to a departmental icon with the retirement of James Comstock. James Comstock took over as Chief of Police after the department mourned the loss of its previous Chief of Police, Frank Brennan. Frank Brennan retired, as a Sergeant, from the Pennsylvania State Police in 2001. Post-retirement he served as a Detective for the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, later as Chief of the Columbia County Adult Probation Office and finally in 2005 Frank Brennan became the Chief of Police of the Borough of Berwick Police Department. In 2011 Frank Brennan succumbed to his battle against cancer. James Comstock then returned to a familiar role and led the department as its Chief of Police. James Comstock previously spent nine (9) years as Chief of Police from 1992 until 2001. He has always been a true leader who had an ability to adapt with the always evolving profession of law enforcement. Overall, James Comstock served thirty-three (33) years with the Borough of Berwick Police Department. It was an honor working alongside and learning the job from both Frank Brennan and James Comstock. Both were extremely respected, both professionally and personally. Their presence, experience, knowledge and of course their laughs are always missed. I took over the position on June 1, 2012 after spending over six (6) years as the department’s “Criminal Investigator”.   Personnel issues presented the greatest challenge to the police department in 2012. That coupled with the fact that law enforcement in Columbia County began recognizing a large scale problem regarding Methamphetamine. The Office of the Attorney General and the Columbia County Drug Task Force forged a partnership to identify and eradicate those involved with the manufacturing and distribution of Methamphetamine. In 2012 nearly forty (40) Methamphetamine incidents were investigated in Berwick Borough. Those investigations led to the dismantling of over twenty-five (25) Methamphetamine laboratories and forty-five (45) persons arrested. Drug arrests in Berwick Borough have never been higher than in 2012. There were two hundred and ninety-nine (299) persons arrested on drug charges in 2012, this in part to the creation of the new “Special Operations Group” (SOG). SOG is tasked with networking with the Columbia County Drug Task Force and other task forces to suppress illegal narcotics distribution and the crime with which it is associated.

  I am proud of the work that the officers have done, all while short staffed, and look forward to what’s to come. We shall continue to work together with our citizens and law enforcement partners to do everything possible to make our community a safe and comfortable place to live and work.             
 
Sincerely,
Kenneth J. Strish

 

 

2012 STATISTICS
 

 

Total Calls Received
(6,410)
 
Criminal Offenses
Homicide/Attempted – reports of (0), arrests for (1)
Rape - reports of (8), arrests for (1)
Sex Offenses (other than Rape) - reports of (19), arrests for (3)
Kidnapping - reports of (0), arrests for (0)
Robbery - reports of (6), arrests for (13)
Aggravated Assault - reports of (1), arrests for (19)
Burglary - reports of (60), arrests for (25)
Trespass - reports of (55), arrests for (35)
Forgery reports of (5), arrests for (3)
Arson – reports of (4), arrests for (5)
Disorderly Conduct reports of (113), arrests for (82)
Harassment reports of (124), arrests for (82)
Simple Assault reports of (18), arrests for (43)
Theft reports of (353), arrests for (81)
Public Drunkenness reports of (24), arrests for (36)
Criminal Mischief reports of (190), arrests for (34)
Curfew Violations reports of (22), arrests for (26)
 
 Juvenile Arrests
 (105)
 
Narcotics Arrests
98 persons were arrested with 299 drug related offenses.
In that total of 299 arrests, 45 persons were arrested with 190 Methamphetamine” related arrests.
 
Domestic
Domestic Violence calls – (249)
PFA Violations reports of (25), arrests for (9)
 
Traffic Related
Accidents – (210) (includes both reportable and non-reportable accidents)
DUI Arrests – (16)
Traffic Citations – (624)
Other Traffic Arrests (other than DUI and Citations) – (66)
Parking Tickets – (989)

 

Annual Statistics
 

 

ANNUAL STATISTICS
 
Serious Crime
  2012
  2011
2010
2009
 2008
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Homicide
 
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
Attempted Homicide
 
 
0
 
1
 
1
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
0
 
Rape
 
 
8
 
1
 
6
 
1
 
9
 
50*
 
8
 
2
 
6
 
3
 
Sex Offenses
 
 
19
 
3
 
11
 
12
 
3
 
59*
 
18
 
25
 
21
 
12
 
Kidnapping
 
 
0
 
 
0
 
2
 
0
 
1
 
0
 
1
 
1
 
1
 
12
 
Robbery
 
 
6
 
13
 
3
 
11
 
5
 
3
 
3
 
2
 
15
 
0
 
Aggravated Assault
 
 
1
 
19
 
3
 
17
 
0
 
10
 
4
 
19
 
1
 
12
 
Burglary
 
 
60
 
25
 
50
 
35
 
28
 
5
 
22
 
12
 
26
 
9
 
Trespass
 
 
55
 
35
 
35
 
20
 
42
 
38
 
29
 
21
 
41
 
17
 
Forgery
 
 
5
 
3
 
6
 
2
 
9
 
7
 
9
 
14
 
5
 
37
 
Arson
 
 
4
 
5
 
0
 
0
 
3
 
6
 
4
 
0
 
5
 
0
 
(*) Indicates that one person was arrested with 50 counts.
(*) Indicates that two persons were arrested each with 25 counts.

 

 

ANNUAL STATISTICS
 
Other Crime
 2012
  2011
2010
2009
2008
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Reports
 
Arrests
 
Disorderly Conduct
 
 
113
 
82
 
142
 
92
 
123
 
132
 
140
 
97
 
190
 
140
 
Harassment
 
 
124
 
82
 
124
 
90
 
169
 
76
 
189
 
97
 
173
 
80
 
Simple Assault
 
 
18
 
43
 
15
 
49
 
10
 
39
 
10
 
44
 
12
 
44
 
Theft
 
 
353
 
81
 
315
 
72
 
353
 
41
 
352
 
98
 
339
 
70
 
Public Drunkenness
 
 
24
 
36
 
12
 
17
 
9
 
23
 
8
 
34
 
12
 
21
 
Criminal Mischief
 
 
190
 
34
 
260
 
20
 
229
 
21
 
262
 
20
 
240
 
24
 
PFA Violations
 
 
25
 
9
 
15
 
6
 
29
 
14
 
23
 
9
 
21
 
5
 
Curfew Violations
 
 
22
 
 
26
 
13
 
39
 
10
 
29
 
5
 
12
 
2
 
14
 

 

ANNUAL STATISTICS
 

 

ANNUAL STATISTICS
 
Traffic Related
 
2012
 
 
2011
 
 
2010
 
 
2009
 
 
2008
 
 
Accidents
 
 
210
 
245
 
239
 
222
 
233
 
D.U.I.
 
 
16
 
10
 
23
 
39
 
23
 
Traffic Citations
 
 
624
 
551
 
382
 
596
 
495
 
Other Traffic Arrests
 
 
66
 
31
 
63
 
90
 
65
 
Parking Tickets
 
 
989
 
1,507
 
927
 
950
 
551
 
 
*All statistics reflect only those incidents which are either reported to the police department or for an offense committed in an officer’s presence. 
*All arrest statistics are the total number of criminal charges filed and not the number of people arrested.
*Crime statistics do not reflect investigations which did not produce enough sufficient evidence to pursue the case in court, where the victim/witness refused to cooperate with the investigation and/or when the investigation produced sufficient evidence to arrest a suspect for a different criminal act other than what was initially reported.

 

TOTAL NARCOTICS ARRESTS
 

 

TOTAL NARCOTICS ARRESTS
     

 

TOTAL CALLS RECEIVED
 

 

TOTAL CALLS RECEIVED
 

 

SIGNIFICANT INVESTIGATIONS
  

 

February
 
  On February 7, 2012 members of the “Special Operations Group” from the Office of the Attorney General, working in conjunction with the Borough of Berwick Police Department, arrested Kim Neal Roquet in Luzerne County. The day prior the Borough of Berwick Police Department acquired an arrest warrant for Roquet in connection with a throat slashing, baseball bat beating and robbery that occurred on the morning of January 8, 2011 at “Decker’s Scrap Yard”.   Roquet later plead guilty to attempted murder and robbery charges and was sentenced to spend the next twenty to forty years at a State Correctional Institute.
 
 On February 24, 2012 the Borough of Berwick Police Department served a search warrant at 304 East Front Street concluding an investigation into the illegal distribution of Heroin at that address. Brittany Bankes, Jorge Mojica and Malik Muhammad were arrested on scene. Muhammad attempted to flee the scene after jumping out of a second story window but was apprehended in the backyard.  A loaded 12 gauge sawed-off shotgun, $1,727 in US currency, 126 packets of Heroin, a video surveillance system and drug paraphernalia were seized as evidence during the drug raid. Bankes, Mojica and Muhammad were arrested on numerous drug violations.
 
March
 
  On March 25, 2012 the Borough of Berwick Police Department responded to the Berwick Hospital regarding a reported robbery. The victim informed police that he and his girlfriend went to the residence of Anthony Castello, 514 Monroe Street. When they arrived they were each forcibly pulled into the residence, held against their will, forced to remove their clothing, money was then forcibly taken from them and the male victim was struck in the head with blunt instruments. Anthony Castello, Eric Brittain, and Samuel Konrad were arrested and each charged with Robbery, Conspiracy, Unlawful Restraint, Recklessly Endangering and Assault.
 
May
 
  On May 11, 2012 a Methamphetamine laboratory explosion ignited a fire at 242 and 244 Summerhill Avenue. The fire destroyed the four apartment complex. Robert Fowler and Perry Harmon were arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Arson, Risking a Catastrophe and Criminal Mischief. Sergeant Michael Monico kicked in a locked door to rescue a tenant from her smoke filled apartment.  Monico will receive an award for heroism from the American Red Cross in June 2013.

 

 June 

 

  On June 13, 2012 the Borough of Berwick Police Department received a phone call regarding a possible embezzlement at the Berwick Retirement Village. On June 22, 2012 Sarah Pineda-Scott was interviewed and admitted that in the last year while she worked as the Account Representative at the Berwick Retirement Village she embezzled over $35,000 from the accounts of elderly residents at the retirement home, both alive and deceased. Sarah Pineda-Scott was arrested and charged with Forgery, Access Device Fraud and Theft.  

 

October

 

  On Tuesday October 16, 2012 the Borough of Berwick Police Department responded to a burglary in progress at 210 Summerhill Avenue.  The suspect was able to elude responding officers.  Witnesses provided police with a description of the suspect and suspect's vehicle.  Berwick Police were able to locate the suspect's vehicle travelling toward Briar Creek Township, a brief pursuit followed.  The chase ended at 69 Diary Road in Briar Creek Township, where officers detained numerous persons and discovered a Methamphetamine laboratory at that address.  The suspect from the burglary at 210 Summerhill Avenue, however, evaded police again and stole a car in Briar Creek Township.  The suspect was finally caught in Nescopeck a short time later by several law enforcement agencies.   The burglary suspect, Stephen Whitenight, was lodged at the Columbia County Prison on multiple Felony charges.

 

 On October 24, 2012 the Borough of Berwick Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at "Kocher Insurance Agency".  It was reported that two white male suspects entered the business; one of the suspects brandished a small black handgun and demanded money. Officers quickly identified the suspects as Clayton Kelley and Nathan Young. Young was arrested without incident; however, when arresting Kelley at his 422 Monroe Street apartment, officers located a Methamphetamine laboratory. 
 
 
 
 
Borough of Berwick Police Department
1800 North Market Street Berwick, PA 18603
(570) 752-3677
www.berwickborough.org