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Penn State Fayette hosts statewide conference on crime|
By Melanie Dawn Thomas
| Penn State Fayette was awarded a competitive contract to host the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquencys Annual Statewide Crime Prevention Conference. It was one of the largest projects the campus has undertaken.|
Ted Mellors, assistant director of Continuing Education at Penn State Fayette, spearheaded the project and served as conference coordinator. He also coordinates the campus many law enforcement training programs. Kim Dillinger, Continuing Education program coordinator, organized a schedule of presentations and workshops, and Continuing Education staff members Jan Jordan and Tina Reed contributed to the conference planning, registration collection and technical support, among other tasks.
Penn State Fayette Campus Executive Officer Dr. Gregory W. Gray welcomed participants to the two-day conference, and Thomas W. Corbett Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, presented the keynote address. He discussed a variety of critical topics specific to the law enforcement community, including the importance of crime prevention, a focus on proactive measures and effective reactive measures in todays law enforcement efforts.
Corbett has chaired the commission since 1995. Throughout his distinguished career in criminal justice, he has served as a prosecutor in Allegheny County, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Western Pennsylvania and, in 1989, he was appointed by President George Bush to serve as U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania. While in that position, he served on many policy-making committees of the Department of Justice, including the prestigious Attorney Generals Advisory Committee. From 1995 to 1997, he served as Pennsylvania Attorney General.
Other main speakers included Capt. David Young of the Pennsylvania State Police, who serves in the newly formed Office of Domestic Security, where he is liaison to the director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security. He spoke on the topic of Terrorism; A Management Perspective.
Pat Rushton, outreach manager for the Victims Resource Center, discussed the importance of the center and its role in supporting victims needs and protecting and educating about victims rights.
Bill Alston shared his experiences as the law enforcement coordinator for Aliquippas Weed and Seed program during his presentation on Small Town Community Policing.
According to James Thomas, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Since it was created in 1978, the mission of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency has been to serve as a catalyst for the prevention and reduction of crime and delinquency. In that regard, the commission works to foster interagency coordination and cooperation, develop and coordinate policy issues, render training and technical assistance and provide support to system improvements. It provides statewide criminal statistical and analytical services, fosters community-based prevention initiatives and assists victims of crime through support for direct services and by alleviating the financial burdens resulting from the commission of a crime.
In 2002, according to the commissions Web site, the commission administered federal grants totaling more than $95 million, state grant funds in eight program areas totaling almost $48 million and federal and state victim compensation funds totaling almost $8 million; approximately 1,300 grants were awarded; and total funds administered for grants, subsidies and compensation programs amounted to more than $150 million.
The conference featured presentations on: Crimes Involving the U.S. Mail, Citizens Police Academy, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program in Pennsylvania, Communities That Care, School Violence Strategies that Work, Pennsylvania Weed and Seed Program, G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program, Cyberwatch ... Protecting Our Youth on the Internet, Terrorism Awareness and Protection, Internet Safety: Protecting Kids Online/Olwens Bullying Prevention Program, Club Drugs, Be a Safety Kid, and Child Abduction Response: Pennsylvanias Amber Alert Plan.
Participating agencies included AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), Center for Victims of Violent Crime, Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers Association, Crime Prevention Association of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Association of Campus Crime Prevention Practitioners, Pennsylvania National Guard Counterdrug Program, Pennsylvania Department of Health Clearinghouse, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Safety Kids Inc. and Victims Resource Center.
An outreach program of Penn State Fayette