abc27 hosts crime forum

A crowd gathered Wednesday night at HACC's Rose Lehrman Arts Center to engage in a conversation with city, county and state leaders on how to curb city crime.

The event, hosted by abc27, brought together Harrisburg Police Chief Tom Carter, Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, Mayor Eric Papenfuse, City Councilwoman Eugenia Smith and State Representative Patty Kim.  

Anchors Alicia Richards and James Crummel moderated.

Audience members were urged to participate and direct questions to the panel. The event was held to start a conversation about possible solutions to Harrisburg crime.

Last year the city saw 18 homicides, the most in decades.

However, Harrisburg Police Chief Tom Carter offered some uplifting news. He said there were nearly 4,000 arrests last year. Carter also said violent crime is currently down 12 percent when compared to 2013.

Before long, the discourse shifted to youth violence. Panel members admitted is was an issue.

Rep. Kim said tackling poverty is one key solution.

Mayor Papenfuse said improving the city's education is pivotal. He also stressed an initiative involving the police department to increase community outreach to help young and old alike.

“We have fundamentally changed to a community policing model already in effect,” Papenfuse said.

“We may not find solutions right now, but we can talk about the problems, we can come together as a whole and we can win this battle,” Carter said.

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