Heritage Park Residents Express Safety Concerns

Community members ask for help from Trappe Borough Council in dealing with a group of teens involved in mischief and criminal behaviors.

A half dozen Heritage Park residents attended the Oct. 2 Trappe Borough Council meeting to discuss their concerns about the neighborhood, located behind the Trappe Shopping Center.

The residents report that a group of approximately 20 teens, ranging in age from 13-18, have been harassing people in the development and engaging in criminal activities in the neighborhood, as well at the adjacent Trappe Shopping Center and Waterworks Park.

“They are intimidating,” one resident reported, saying she and her 9-year-old were called names and harassed as they walked from their Heritage Park home to the CVS store in the Trappe Center. Her car was also broken into recently and electronics and other items were stolen.

The residents have been in touch with the state police numerous times over incidents ranging from general harassment, to fires being set, odors of marijuana in the tunnels at Waterworks Park and the scaling of the walls of the shopping center to run along the roof of the building.

“It doesn’t feel like a good place to live,” reported a resident. “We call the police and it takes them 10-90 minutes to get to us.”

While the state police initially told residents to call whenever they felt the need, one officer recently told a resident to only call if they see actual criminal activity.

“We’d love for you to raise our taxes and get a police force,” one Heritage Park resident told Council.

Councilman Paul Edwards responded by saying, “we began doing a study several years ago on the feasibility of a local police force, but the study was not completed.”

Borough Manager Jacqui Guenther has been in contact with the state police about the situation and says the force has been making more rounds in the area. The manager of the shopping center has hired a security guard who has identified all of the teens involved.

Council president Fred Schuetz suggested that the neighborhood put together a town watch. Residents were directed to the borough website for information on organizing a neighborhood watch program. All council members encouraged the residents to contact the police whenever they needed to and asked Manager Guenther to follow-up on the comments of the officer who asked them not to call.

Brian Long, Trappe Fire Chief, said that his department could put more presence in the form of marked vehicles in the park and around the neighborhood. He also supports an organized town watch.

“Where are the parents of these kids?" one resident said to Council, reporting that the teens are hanging around after school until the late night hours.

“When one of my neighbors approached a father of one of the boys to warn him that the police were being called, the father coldcocked my neighbor. It just doesn't feel safe."

Council asked the residents to keep them informed through the borough manager and pledged support of a neighborhood watch group.

The next Trappe Borough Council meeting date has changed due to Election Day on Tuesday, November 6. The public is invited to attend the next meeting on Tuesday, November 13 at 7 pm at Borough Hall.

joe October 04, 2012 at 11:16 AM
That's why I moved to the Borough of Collegeville. Our own police department who respond VERY quickly to our needs and concerns. Yes, it may cost a few more dollars in taxes a year, but well worth it. Trappe should look into forming a joint police force with Collgegville to share costs for each municipality. Relying on the State Police for attention to one's concerns and a quick response time is unrealistic. They have too large of an area to patrol and they are understaffed for it.
Steven M. Sellet October 04, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I think Joe has in right. Although I live in Collegeville I live very close to the Collegeville/Trappe line. We already share a joint Water and Sewer Authority. Having a joint Police Force should be no different. I would go as far as to say that combining the two Boroughs into one would make a lot of sense.
Lee October 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Hope these are not baby steps to regionalization which is not good for local residents and whittles away at local authority. Do not let this go beyond Collegeville/Trappe going forward. All the big planners in Montgomery County (DVRPC) want regionalization and it is not good for our communities no matter what propaganda they provide regarding cost savings.
Steven Kurcik October 04, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I know from being involved with Trappe politics that any dealing with Collegeville will not be good for Trappe. I would rather see something with Upper Providence beings we cover much of their township with OUR fire company.
Jack Minster October 05, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Curiously omitted here is the most contentious and newsworthy aspect of the meeting. Council member Paul Edwards repeatedly defended his opinion that Trappe should vote to acquiesce to Collegeville's demand to fold up joint Public Works into CTMA Authority, costing Trappe taxpayers $20K to $40K per year in forfeited state pension credits, removing control of water rates from our elected officials and hand ALL control to a panel of 6 people at the Water/Sewer authority. Fred Schuetz, along with members Lew DiPrete and Marshall Stomel, snuck this item onto the agenda less than 24 hours prior to the meeting, giving other Council members and the public no time to consider this serious and sweeping change. Members Cathy Johnson, Tammy Liberi, and Nevin Scholl demanded first a thorough cost-benefit analysis before voting to proceed. Phil Ronca, from the small audience gathered suggested Council carefully exam such a move before voting to proceed. Edwards doggedly defended the move with this: "at least we'll be doing something" and "this is a good move in my opinion." Liberi, flustered, said "I don't want to hear opinions about the facts - I want to hear the facts. In business we don't make decisions based on opinions about facts, we make them based on the facts." I may have one or two of the quoted words imperfectly but it wasn't my job to accurately report on the council meeting. Above is sufficiently accurate. I invite Edwards, Liberi, or the reporter to correct me.
pat jackson October 05, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Hahah wheres the proof of all this i dont see videos or names the only proof is loitering. And that neighbor who got punched was harassing little kids
pat jackson October 05, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I guess everyone in heritage were angels whwn they were a kid like if you dont like move to city and tell me how much you like it out there lmao
Brittany Tressler (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 07:06 PM
A comment was removed from this thread because it violated Patch's Terms of Service due to extremely bad language. No cursing in the comments, please.
gary October 09, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Please tell me where the tunnels are? ahahahah please kids will be kids where r they supposed to hang out at. Water works is a public park and the kids just sit down there and smoke cigarettes all day please i no what they do. they do not partake in the use of drugs. This is trappe, PA you act like these kids are selling crack and murdering people. This is not norristown. Crime is in almost every town but were talking about 15 and 16 year old kids the police should be patrolling around the towns that need to
gary October 09, 2012 at 01:44 AM
The guy that got his ipod stolen furiousley came up to me and my buddys as we were sitting in the car. he repeattley said give me my ipod and ipod charger to my friend when both were clearly his, he was standing basiclly in the door way of my friends car threatning him and telling him to give him his property without any proof that it was his couse we all clearly know tha the kids at the shoppping center dont rob cars this is a load of bull crap this is trappe pa not philedelphia for christ sake the worst those kids do is smoke a little pot but why bust there balls for that kids will be kids


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