Bethlehem Warming Center Opened at Calypso School

Emergency Services of the City of Bethlehem has opened a Warming Center that is open to the public at the Calypso School located at 1021 Calypso Avenue, Bethlehem, PA.  (See map below).  The Warming Center provides a place for people without electricity to go for heat and shelter.  Please bring your own supplies (blankets, pillows, any needed medical supplies and any food that you may need).  Emergency Services workers will be present through the night.  The shelter is inside the school gymnasium / cafeteria.  Please forward to anyone who needs assistance.  Call 610.865.7187 for Bethlehem Communications for any additional assitance.


Got Drugs?

The National Take Back Initiative will take place on Saturday 29 October 2011. This an opportunity to turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal. The event will be held at the Westgate Mall in Bethlehem from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The collection point will be inside the main entrance by the information desk. This event will be staffed by Bethlehem Police Crime Prevention Officer Tom DeFrank and was coordinated by the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

DEA in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States conducted National Prescription Drug Take Back Days on Saturday, September 25, 2010 and April 25, 2011. Nearly, 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills.

Four days after last fall’s Take-Back Day, Congress passed legislation amending the Controlled Substances Act to allow the DEA to develop a process for people to safely dispose of their prescription drugs. DEA immediately began developing this process after President Obama signed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 on October 12. Until that process is complete, however, DEA will continue to hold Take Back Days every six months.

Burglary Suspect Identity Wanted

Report #BC-11-45959
Detective Fulmer is looking to identify the male in these photos. This male is a suspect in the burglary of several apartments located at 11 East 4th Street, on 11 October 2011, between 1140 and 1230 hours. Anyone with any information on this male is asked to call Detective Fulmer at 610.865.7187.

The male is approximately 5’10” with a medium build. He has short hair and possibly a thin beard. According to some witnesses he possibly frequents the area of 4th and New Streets.

Press Release: Burglary Arrests

Bethlehem Police Department

PRESS RELEASE – BURGLARY ARREST

DATE – OCTOBER 27, 2011

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, RAUL PACHECO age 53, 1535 E. 9th Street, apt. #1, Bethlehem, Pa. 18015, Northampton County, was charged by Bethlehem Police Detective Brad Jones with the following criminal charges:

(2) Counts Burglary
(1) Count Criminal Attempt at Burglary
(3) Counts Criminal Trespass
(3) Counts Theft
(1) Count Receiving Stolen Property.

RAUL PACHECO was arraigned on Wednesday 10-26-11, in the afternoon, before Northampton County Senior District Judge Elmo Frey who was sitting for District Judge Patricia Romig.

These criminal charges were the result of a joint criminal investigation into daylight burglaries that occurred in Bethlehem City, Fountain Hill and Lower Saucon Township, during the months of May thru August 2011.

RAUL PACHECO at the time of this arraignment was already in Northampton County Prison on Burglary and related charges filed by Lowed Saucon Township Police and criminal charges relative to a police chase on 81-18-11 between him and Bethlehem Police officers in south Bethlehem which resulted in his capture.

PACHECO’s bail was set at $50,000.00 and he was re-committed to Northampton County Prison on these new charges and his other charges.

Please refer to Criminal compliant and affidavit on file at District Judge Romig’s office on Stefko Blvd. in Bethlehem for details.

The investigation is still ongoing. No additional information is available at this time.

Det. Lt. Mark DiLuzio
Bethlehem Police Department
Criminal Investigation Division
Phone # 610-997-7672

Bethlehem Area Youth Council chartering ceremony – 10/26/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at noon, Mayor John Callahan and invited officials from the City of Bethlehem, the Townships of Bethlehem and Hanover, the Boroughs of Fountain Hill will preside at a chartering ceremony to formally launch tghe first ever Bethlehem Area Youth Council.  The ceremony will take place at Bethlehem Town Hall, 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem, PA and will be followed by a discussion with the students and the political leaders who are present.

A diverse and talented group of approxiamtely 30 young men and women from Liberty and Freedom High School have agreed to serve during the Council’s inagural 2011-2012 academic year.

Anticipating the work of this group, Mayor Callahan said: “Our community is known for its strong sense of civic responsibility.  The Bethlehem Area Youth Council will continue this tradition in the next generation while providing our young people with a platform to problem solve and promote postivity.  I am very proud that these young men and women have offered to serve in the Council’s inagural year and I am looking forward to their enthusiasm, energy, insight and ideas.  These are the leaders of Bethlehem’s future.”

Facilitated by the Bethlehem Community Collaborative and the Bethlehem Area School District and supported by the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s COMPASS Community Schools initiative and Lehigh University’s College of Education, Youth Council members will meet regularly to discuss issues they believe are important to all youth within our community.  As they work together, they will meet with regional leaders and influencers identified to be helpful in developing specific objectives that the Council members, and the youth they represent, can accomplish together in order to make a positive difference.

The Bethlehem Community Collaborative, founded in 2008, is a volunteer organization whose focus is helping youth serving organizations, programs, and activities to work together toward the common goal of youth success within the footprint of the Bethlehem Area School District.

Contact Information:
Al Philpotts
aphilpotts@gmail.com

Bethlehem Police Supports Occupy Bethlehem

The political group, Occupy Bethlehem, has indicated that they will be in the City of Bethlehem starting on the morning of Friday 21 October 2011 protesting outside of the Civic Center Complex on Payrow Plaza.  The Bethlehem Police Department supports an individual’s Constitutional Rights to Free Speech and Assembly.

Streets and parks “have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.”, Hague v. C.I.O., 307 U.S. 496, 515 (1939). That principle has been reiterated in case after case.  It is important to understand that protesters and demonstrators have rights protected by the Constitution, specifically regarding freedom of speech and the right to assemble peacefully. 

While providing protection, the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to communicate one’s views at all times and places or in a manner that may be desired (Heffron v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, 452 U.S. 640, 647 [1981]).

Under both state and federal law, governments are allowed to place reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on the freedom of speech (Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781, 791 [1989]).  The government can impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on protected speech, provided:

(1) restrictions are justified without reference to content of regulated speech,

(2) restrictions are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and;

(3) restrictions leave open ample alternative channels for communication of the information.

The City of Bethlehem Police Department will take the position that distribution of literature protected by the First Amendment and the making of public comments or statements protected by the First Amendment, will be permitted, provided that:

The individual or group does not block a throughway or access to any area of the Civic Center and that the individual or group does NOT behave in a manner that disrupts the daily operations of the Civic Center or the Public Library. Unacceptable behavior will include, confronting individuals, blocking access to the Civic Center, blocking access to the Public Library, blocking the roadways surrounding the complex, or blocking access to the underground parking garage.   Sound amplification systems will be permitted provided they do not serve to disrupt the normal business operations. 

There is a general proposition that amplified speech, such as through the use of bullhorns, is protected expression.  “The First Amendment protects effective speech, not merely uttered words, and effective speech sometimes requires that ideas be transformed into musical speech, loud speech, financial speech or other forms of expression that a casual reading of the First Amendment might not reveal as “speech.” See Ward, 109 S.Ct. at 2753 (music); Federal Election Comm’n v. National Conservative Political Action Comm., 470 U.S. 480, 493, 105 S.Ct. 1459, 1466, 84 L.Ed.2d 455 (1985) (political financial contributions); Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 4, 96 S.Ct. 612, 627, 46 L.Ed.2d 659 (1976) (same). In fact, the Court in National Conservative Political Action Comm. appears to endorse the idea that amplified speech is sometimes essential to effective communication and deserves protection”  See Stokes v. City of Madison, 930 F.2d 1163, 1168-69 (7th Cir. 1991). 

Any action taken by the Bethlehem Police will be based only on the conduct of persons at the gathering, rather than the content of their speech, absent fighting words which would be so inflammatory and directed at an individual so as to require our intervention.

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 414 (1989)  “[I]n public debate our own citizens must tolerate insulting, and even outrageous, speech in order to provide adequate breathing space to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment.”

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation, Occupy Bethlehem.

Fahy Bridge Walkway Installation / Lane Closure

Due to the unsafe walkway attached to the Fahy Bridge, Penn DOT will be constructing a walkway ON the bridge beginning this Wednesday, October 19, 2011. At this time, concrete barriers will be installed to create a walkway and separate pedestrians from motorists. Final configuration will maintain 2 lanes of traffic (although narrow); however, during the installation (Wednesday – Friday), the bridge will be restricted to one lane in the north bound direction. The ramp onto Center Street will be maintained; however, the Columbia Street ramp onto the bridge will now have a stop sign.

After the barriers are installed, the stairways will be repaired and the original barriers will be cut for pedestrians to access the stairways. This operation is expected to last about one week, and should take place next week (October 24 – October 28)

Be prepared for delays and backups Wednesday through Friday.

Attempt to Identify Robbery Suspect – Sands Casino and Locust Street

We are attempting to identify the suspect in the photograph. The suspect is a black male with dreadlocks in a ponytail. On 10-13-11 the suspect depicted in the pictures was captured on video surveillance at the Sands Casino parking lot. The suspect was also captured on video inside the Casino.  The suspect was also captured on video exiting the Casino parking lot in a silver saturn. On the same day of this incident a Robbery occurred on the 300 blk of E. Locust Street approximately 4 hours later.  The 18 year old victim gave the same description of the suspect and his vehicle that was involved in the Sands Casino Robbery. The victim in the 300 blk of E. Locust street stated the suspect was holding a handgun during the Robbery.  If anyone can identify the suspect in the photographs contact Bethlehem Police at 610.865.7187.
Suspect Photo #1
Suspect Photo #2
Suspect Car Photo

Welcome Home from Prison Party ends in multiple stabbings

BC-11-46630

10-17-2011

On Saturday evening, October 15, 2011, at 11:04 Pm, Bethlehem Police Units responded to a report of a large fight in the 500 block of Hess Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
Northampton County. Reports indicated that gunshots were heard and that knives were also involved. When police units arrived, Officers found two individuals suffering from sharp
force trauma wounds to their bodies. The two individuals were taken to St. Lukes Hospital, Fountain Hill, by Paramedics. Three more individuals also arrived at area hospitals with similar injures that
were caused during this large fight. Two showed up at St. Lukes Hospital, Fountain Hill, and one showed up at St. Lukes Hospital in Allentown. Two individual were treated for wounds and released.
Three individuals were admitted to the hospital for their wounds. Several individuals were detained by Officers and Detectives for investigative purposes.

The investigation by Detectives is active and ongoing. This fight was a result of a “welcome home” party at a residence in the 500 block of Hess Street for an individual who was recently
released from a correctional facility. This large street fight is currently under active investigation by Bethlehem Detectives. The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be released
later this week.