The following message was sent out to the incoming Lehigh 2016 class to welcome them to Bethlehem and to better inform all Lehigh students on how to better prepare themselves to be good neighbors in our community. Please share this information and pass it along to anyone who may live, work and play in the area around Lehigh’s campus. Our goal is to reduce crime in our community through education and partnership with everyone who lives in Bethlehem.
Welcome to the City of Bethlehem! Let me begin by congratulating you on selecting the fine institution of Lehigh University for your education. The Bethlehem Police Department has a long-standing history of cooperation with Lehigh University, their Police Department and the various student organizations. Our departments will continue to work together to make sure your stay here in Bethlehem is a safe and memorable one. The City of Bethlehem is the safest city in Pennsylvania with over 30,000 residents, but we need your help to continue to make it as safe as it can be.
In order to keep all of our residents better informed, and to aid in our communication, the Bethlehem Police Department maintains several social media outlets. We have a blog, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a free smartphone app for both iPhone and Android devices. Please consider using one or all of these methods to become better informed about your community and to reach out to us and communicate your concerns.
Our department is tasked with maintaining the peace and assuring the safety of all our residents. The first way to accomplish this is to educate the residents in ways to reduce their chances of being victimized. When you leave your house, always ensure that your doors and windows are locked. Do not store valuable items in a location that can easily be seen from the street. The overwhelming majority of burglaries that occur around Lehigh’s campus are committed without the use of force. The victim’s cars or houses are left unlocked, or the windows are left open, and they become an easy target. Locking your valuables will help us reduce crime in your neighborhood.
The second method to help ensure your personal safety is to be aware of your surroundings when walking the streets. Make efforts to walk in groups, utilize Lehigh’s TRACS & Escort Service and pay attention. Walking alone at night, wearing a personal media player and not being aware of your surroundings can be dangerous. Be smart and plan ahead. There are many services available to ensure your personal safety.
Another way for us to improve safety is to address quality of life issues that may arise in our neighborhoods. In order to have a better relationship between the Lehigh University students and the neighboring community, we have prepared a “Be A Good Neighbor” reference guide to the Pennsylvania State Laws and Bethlehem City Ordinances that we feel are applicable to you as students. A full listing of Pennsylvania laws, both criminal and motor vehicle statutes can also be found on line here.
In short, the “Be A Good Neighbor” reference guide provides you with information on the most common types of problems that are encountered by our college residents. Please be respectful and considerate of your neighbors when having parties. Failing to do so can result in being arrested for having a Disorderly House, Littering, Underage Drinking and Public Drunkenness.
We are asking for your cooperation in being a good neighbor and having consideration for your fellow residents. We are also providing crime prevention information for your safety and awareness. Our social media outlets are all designed to enhance our communication with the residents of Bethlehem. I encourage you to check us out and learn what is going on in your community.
Bethlehem Police Non-Emergency (610) 865-7187
Emergency Dial 9-1-1
Thank you for your cooperation and have a great year!
Jason D. Schiffer, Esq.
Chief of Police
City of Bethlehem Police
Be A Good Neighbor
City Ordinance § 705.04 Disorderly House
No person shall visit, occupy or frequent any house or building of any sort or description in the City, and behave therein in a loud, tumultuous or disorderly manner to the disturbance of the peaceable residents nearby
PACS Title 18 § 5505 Public Drunkeness
A person is guilty of a summary offense if he appears in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity.
PACS Title 18 § 6308 Purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages (A.K.A. Underage Drinking)
(a) Offense defined- A person commits a summary offense if he, being less than 21 years of age, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses or knowingly and intentionally transports any liquor or malt or brewed beverages, as defined in section 6310.6 (relating to definitions).
(b) Penalty- In addition to the penalty imposed pursuant to section 6310.4 (relating to restriction of operating privileges), a person convicted of violating subsection (a) may be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500 for the second and each subsequent violation.
City Ordinance § 717.01 Unnecessary Noise a Nuisance
(a) The making of unnecessary noise, while residing or occupying or present in or around a dwelling, building or other structure in the City by a person, animal, musical instrument, amplifying systems or otherwise, is declared to be a nuisance. Prohibited conduct shall include, but not be limited to the following:
(1) No person shall operate or allow to be operated a radio, stereo, boom box, tape and/or CD player or any other type of sound reproduction device in any area within the City at a sound level which is audible at a distance of greater than forty (40) feet from the location of any such sound reproduction device.
PACS Title 18 § 6501 Scattering Rubbish
(a) Offense Defined- A person is guilty of the offense if he:
(1) throws any waste paper, sweepings, ashes, household waste, glass, metal, refuse or rubbish, or any dangerous or detrimental substance into or upon any road, street, highway, or alley, or upon the land of another or into or upon any stream or navigable river;
(1) A person who violates subsection (a)(1) or (2) is guilty of a summary offense and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or both.