Mon. May 16th, 2022

To: Editorial EditorI am writing regarding an article written by Faith Kirk in your Oct. 26th issue titled Operation Vigilance Citations Down and a second article in your Dec., 14 issue by Emily O’Keefe titled Borough Deals With Noise. In the first article I take exception with your Office of Judicial Affairs apparent conclusion that citations are down because of the effectiveness of educating the campus about Operation Vigilance and the implications that strict law enforcement has for students. In the second article I’d like to present the facts a little differently for perspective sake.

I believe citations are down based on a clearly diminished degree of enforcement from previous years. If the atmosphere in West Chester were a movie it would be called “Streets Gone Wild”. There is a complete lack of respect for the town and the people who live here and must go to work as well as for those students who are trying to responsibly work toward their future. I’m frankly tired of officials both from the Town and the University putting the public relations “happy face” spin on the situation while ignoring the root problem.

There is a serious and escalating behavioral breakdown in the streets throughout the town on a consistent basis most days of each week. Official denial is a poor example to students and residents of really facing up to the truth and one’s responsibility. In other words, if you are in a position of appointed or elected authority, practice what you preach and do the job you were hired or elected to do. Stop prognosticating about your wonderfully effective programs and look for a common sense solution that may actually work.

Mayor Yoder may feel that the he has addressed the relations between borough residents and students but as the head of the police department, he has failed to address the most important issue to residents, the deteriorating behavior and vandalism in the streets. Operation Vigilance has a lofty premise that must translate down to hands on enforcement of our quality of life laws.

In the December article your paper quotes Lieutenant Morris as saying the majority of noise violation recipients are non-students. What he doesn’t say is that nearly 50% are and he fails to acknowledge the extent of the problem as well as the very limited enforcement in place. I get the impression that the police are saying they are looking for a happy balance. Well, they aren’t supposed to please everyone. They are hired and it is their duty to enforce the law. They are ignoring their duty to enforce the quality of life laws. The facts are that residents aren’t the ones violating the law. It is some of the students and the out of town hooligans. They are the culprits who are affecting the health, safety and welfare of the community A big part of this problem rests with the Mayor and the Borough Council as well.

There are a lot of great students at WCU who are committed to themselves and their community. Part of college life is having a blast with your independence and friends.
Another part is learning to live in a community and respect your fellow human beings.
If you are one of those that don’t then there should be consequences for you until you get the message. Our officials should stop the whitewash and see to it that this happens.

Joseph Norley Jr.
Historic South Walnut Neighborhood Association.

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