WARREN Safe Streets Now group elects officers, sets first meeting

The commission includes representatives of the police, fire and health departments.
WARREN -- The first step of the newly formed Safe Streets Now will be to sort out the problems of the citizens in various wards.
The group met and elected officers Thursday. Kathleen Mosko is chairwoman. Louann Kenyon is the group's vice chairwoman, and Cathy Bercheni is secretary-treasurer.
Drug houses, slums and blight and vandalism, property maintenance code violations and problem landlords and renters are some of the issues group members will address.
The commission includes representatives from the police, fire and health departments as well as the safety-service director and citizens.
"With the department heads there, we'll be able to get a scope of what each department is faced with," Mosko said of the group's first meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in council's caucus room.
Safe Streets Now commission members were appointed by Mayor Hank Angelo and confirmed by council. The 25-member committee includes appointees by council members from each of the city's seven wards.
The group was active several years ago but fizzled. The new group, which includes some members of the original one, will use some of the materials such as training information still on file from the previous commission.
"The training and some of what we want to do can be tailor-made to the city of Warren and our problems," said William D. Franklin, council president.
Fred Harris, the city's safety-service director, said that by virtue of being a citizens group, Safe Streets Now can develop its own goals.
"The last time, the national organization gave us some basic information, but what we did was tailor it to the city of Warren," he said.
The group plans to meet in various locations throughout the city to allow more residents to attend.
Councilman Alford L. Novak, D-2nd, one of the sponsors of the legislation that revived the group, urged committee members to bring others to the meetings.
"You don't have to be an appointee to get involved," he said. "We want any clergy, churches that are located in the city or any groups like that who want to, to get involved."
The national Safe Streets Now group was started in 1990 in Oakland, Calif., by a woman who was frustrated with the condition of her neighborhood and the lack of success of governmental agencies to curb its decline.

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