State lawmakers, local officials, and community leaders will be holding public meetings on Wednesday, March 15, to address gun violence, delinquency and public safety in the City of Reading and Berks County.
State Senator Katie Muth, chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, will join Senator Judy Schwank and Senator Art Haywood to host a public hearing at Alvernia University on how to best engage youth to proactively address gun violence and crime.
The public hearing will be held at 11 a.m. at the Alvernia College Towne Campus located at 401 Penn St. in Reading. The hearing will also accommodate virtual participation on Zoom and anyone interested can sign up in advance by clicking here.
The hearing will include three panels of testimony that will feature experts from law enforcement, nonprofit service providers, the judicial system and state agencies. educators, policy experts, and advocates. Confirmed participants include Judge Scott E. Lash, Berks County Court of Common Pleas; Barbara Dancy, Berks County Juvenile Probation; Radarra McLendon, Founder, Village of Reading; Ebonie Cunningham Stringer, Executive Director, Berks Youth Violence Interruption and Intervention Program; and Michael Pennington, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The hearing will also be live-streamed at SenatorMuth.com/Policy and on Senator Muth’s Facebook page.
Later, state Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks, will be discussing gun violence as part of a community meeting aimed at informing residents about public safety. Guzman said he will also elaborate on ways to take bold action and become active in the community.
The community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Olivet Boys and Girls Club, 1161 Pershing Blvd. in Reading.
“I am fully committed to restoring peace and safety in our neighborhoods,” Guzman said. “I firmly believe that by combining commonsense gun safety reforms, bolstering law enforcement and services, and getting our residents involved, we will be able to reduce gun violence on the streets.
“We must encourage residents to cooperate with local authorities; we urge a coordinated effort,” he continued.
Other speakers at the community meeting will include, District Attorney John Adams, Sheriff Eric Weaknecht, State Police Commanding Officer Captain Robert L. Bailey and Reading Chief of Police Richard Tornielli.
“We must fight back against this senseless gun violence epidemic,” Guzman said. “According to CeaseFirePA, 1,600 Pennsylvanians die from gun violence every year and 3,000 more are injured. The gun violence must stop. We can prevent it.”