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Stern apointed chairman of Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Rep. Jerry Stern earned an appointment to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and will serve as committee chairman.
“I am pleased to have been asked once again to serve on the commission,” Stern said in a release. “The PCCD is critical to reducing crime, especially juvenile crime, by carefully channeling state and federal money into locally run programs that over time have shown to be effective.”
In a recent speech to the Fraternal Order of Police in State College, Stern talked to the officers about some of the strides that are being made to help law enforcement.
“The PCCD receives a considerable amount of federal money, which I again can have a role in channeling into local crime prevention programs,” said Stern.“This is a valuable weapon in our arsenal against fighting crime locally through drug and alcohol programs and mentoring programs for juveniles.”
Stern also talked about some of the new laws passed to help law enforcement officers do their job and benefit their families in case something goes terribly wrong in the line of duty.
“The General Assembly over the past two sessions have produced several significant laws to benefit laws enforcement in Pennsylvania,” said Stern. “We ammended the wiretap law to make audio surveillance a more potent tool in apprehending and prosecuting criminals. We declared Hepatitis C an occupational disease to protect police officers primarily at risk in contracting the diseae. We honored the sacrifice of our law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty by granting their children a free college education. We provided pension protection for officers who die naturally or in the line of duty. We established minimum mandatory death and disability benefits for policemen in Act 600 communities.”
Stern says there is more to do.
“We need to relax residency requirements for municipal police officers,” said Stern. “This is a need for their safety and for that of their families. You should not be put at risk of retribution for protecting citizens. We need to re-visit the statewide pension system, which is squandering administrative costs that could be used to bolster retirement benefits. We need to continue to honor those who die in the line of duty. I will again this sponsor a resolution honoring the memory of fallen police officers. Last year in the Commonwealth, we lost three policemen in the line of duty. We can never forget their courage and their sacrifice.”
Stern talked about some of the challenges facing officers today.
“In the wake of our present struggle against terrorism, our police force has been summoned to its greatest level of responsibility,” said the Representative. “Even today in the wake of the Columbia shuttle accident it was local and state police who were summoned in north central Texas to protect the evidence for further investigation.
“We also were painfully reminded as a nation this past summer when a diabolical sharpshooter and his accomplice struck terror in the hearts of residents in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia,” Stern continued. “It was civilian officers of the law who were instrumental in the capture of John Malvo and John Mohammed. Terrorism now means more than a hijacked plane or a dirty bomb. It means a cowardly assuly by shadowy assailants, who wreck havoc upon unsuspecting citizens in broad daylight on our streets and in our neighborhood. Our men and women in blue are now vital in the cause to eradicate terrorism in America.”
He praised the officers for their work in the line of duty.
“We in the General Assembly have a difficult time imagining what it must be like to investigate the scene of a crime or accident or tell someone their loved one has been killed in a car crash,” said Stern. “You handle the difficult situations everyday without fanfare. One thing I can tell you is we sincerely appreciate the sacrifice you make and the difficulty of your job. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for protecting our loved ones. We will continue in good faith to help our police force in any way we can to do their job as effectively as possible, and that their worth is reflected in their pay and benefits, to the best of our ability.
“I want to conclude by again thanking you for your daily sacrifice in protecting our communities and defending our citizens against criminals and terrorists. I want to pay special recognition to your family members who live day by day supporting you from home, never knowing when they may receive a phone call informing them that something has happened to you. They deserve our apprecation,” Stern concluded.
Stern is in his 10th term in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and represents the 80th District which includes Antis Township, Bellwood Borough, parts of Tyrone Borough and Snyder Township.