Downtown Hawley businesswoman Bernadette Madigan asked Hawley Council for security cameras on Main Avenue, after her shop was burglarized recently.
HAWLEY - Downtown Hawley businesswoman Bernadette Madigan asked Hawley Council for security cameras on Main Avenue, after her shop was burglarized recently.
She owns and operates B. Madigan Jewelry & Gifts, 324 Main Avenue. At the September 13th Council session, she said that the break-in occurred almost two and a half weeks before. Someone had entered the store and broke into the cash register, taking some money. “They closed the door as they left,” she added.
Other merchants have also had problems, she said. Her suggestion was to contact Blue Ridge Cable or Verizon to put up cameras in town. She suspected whoever was taking money wanted it for drugs.
“Because we do advertise ourselves as a family oriented town, and in order to keep this up we need to help the police department. We understand its part time,” she said. “But we do something to kind of stop this because it is a repetition of two years ago.”
She had called 9-1-1 and was directed to PA State Police, since the borough police were not on duty at the time. The State Police investigated. She has since spoken to Hawley Police Chief Dan Drake.
Chief Drake said that cameras have been discussed in the past, but it comes with a cost. She reminded that the borough does have an active Neighborhood Crime Watch, with volunteers that report to police when anything suspicious is observed.
“As far as people… stores, or houses getting break-ins, unfortunately it is everywhere and … we’re not going to stop it all,” Drake said. He added that even if cameras were mounted, the criminal could sneak in at another angle.
The Chief urged people to let the Hawley Police know what is going on- even if the State Police handled the call. “If we don’t know something occurs, then there is no way we can track it,” Chief Drake said. “And as the local police department we know a lot more people and recognize things that we can follow than with the State Police… they have a wide area to cover. That’s the biggest help to us, for people reporting things to let us know, so we can watch on certain days, at certain times, on a certain block, so we can track all that.”
Hawley Police, which is a part time department, patrol on various, staggered shifts, at any time day or night.
Regarding the rash of commercial burglaries in Hawley that occurred in the summer of 2015, Chief Drake stated, “We were the ones that solved that within two weeks. We made all the arrests. Every business that was here that was hit, that was all solved.”
He expressed appreciation that Madigan let them know about the break-in. He noted that when they are not on duty, they may not learn about what occurred.
Council President Ann Monaghan recommended that perhaps Madigan can bring this up with the Downtown Hawley Partnership (DHP) where they could brainstorm for a way to approach this.
Madigan serves as 2nd Vice-President on the DHP board.
Elaine Herzog, Councilwoman who is also a DHP board member and 1st Vice-President, said this was raised at a DHP executive committee meeting. She said that DHP can look into the availability of grants for a small community.
“Basically it comes down to common sense,” Herzog advised. “Leave lights on, even a motion light.” Madigan said that she asked the landlord of the building about putting a light in the alleyway next to her shop.
“Our local guys have a better handle on what’s going on in town than the State Police do,” she said. “At the very least they need to be informed.” Mayor Kevin Hawk said they do work together. He said it was best to call 9-1-1, since the Communications Center knows whether Hawley Police are on duty and will direct the person to State Police.
Hawley Borough Police may be contacted at 570-226-4868. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.