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With Cordray's input, safety summit to address Youngstown’s violent crime

Published: Tue, October 26, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.


Father Gregory Maturi


Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams


Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray

By Ashley Luthern



Elected officials and law enforcement will meet Wednesday for a safety summit at St. Dominic Church.

The Rev. Gregory Maturi of St. Dominic Church, 77 E. Lucius Ave., brought up the idea of a summit with state Attorney General Richard Cordray about three weeks ago, shortly after the Sept. 25 murder of 74-year-old parishioner Thomas Repchic. Two suspects are in police custody.

“The goal is to get elected officials and law enforcement together to come up with a practical, reasonable plan that can be implemented immediately to curtail the violent crime here,” the priest said.

The summit, closed to the public, will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said the summit is a credit to Father Maturi.

“We’re pleased that the attorney general has agreed to come,” Williams said. “We expect to have some very frank and candid and respectful discussions of the things that we’re doing now to address the efforts and explore the array of resources that might be available through the attorney general.”

Cordray said the summit is twofold for his office.

“We want to listen and hear from the community and [discuss] how we can help,” he said. “And we want to offer services that may be relevant.”

Two of the resources Cordray highlighted were the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Program and Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

Williams said solutions proposed at the summit must be comprehensive, addressing the crime and social problems throughout the city.

Two vacant houses have been demolished as part of Operation Redemption, a city initiative announced Oct. 2. Williams said the rest will be leveled by the end of the year.

Maturi said Operation Redemption is a start, but more plans are needed from state and federal levels. One suggestion, he said, is to bring Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to Youngstown for aggressive traffic enforcement, similar to the city’s checkpoints for driving under suspension and operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI).

“We want to look at the problem with new eyes, with a fresh face,” Maturi said. “Whatever we’ve been doing up until now is not working, so we need to look at the problem anew.”


1Stormieangel(136 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

All I can say is good luck getting rid of the evil in Youngstown. Getting tough in the LEGAL system is what we need. Turn it into a JUSTICE system. You kill; you die. No cushy life in prison; you get fed and then you sit in your cell til your sentence is over. Sound horrible? Well, so be it. Quit looking for the easy way of making money by selling drugs and destroying lives, which to me is the same thing as murder. Get tough on youngsters that don't buckle down in school; get tough on parents that have their drug habits and don't give a crap about their kids. There are solutions and coddling the kids and the adults is not the answer!!! I will bet some of the parents of the delinquents, if not MOST of them, are still like a bunch of kids...irresponsible and thinking the world owes them something because they are either/or black and poor. Look for solutions and crime is not a viable solution.

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2frontier(3 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe they should hire more police.

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3CityDweller(6 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The Attorney General listening to William's ideas won't work. He obviously hasn't done anything that worked yet. I don't know what they expected when they decided to cut the police department of an extremely violent city. They weren't top heavy, they were bottom light. There are some days that only about half a dozen officers are on patrol for the entire city. They have almost 50 fewer patrolmen now than 10 years ago. So now they've cut detectives (no one to investigate) and haven't replaced patrolmen (no one to arrest). Maybe they shouldn't have hired people for positions that haven't been filled for years. Instead use those salaries to hire more police. There is no way they can be effective when they are so short. If you think the criminals don't know that the police department is short handed, you are sadly mistaken. How is it that we have higher taxes than any other major city in this state but can’t hire enough police? So where is our money going and why are we so broke?

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4CityDweller(6 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

What good is the Highway Patrol when they're pulling over grandma in the middle of the afternoon for a burnt out tail light? The Highway Patrol isn't pulling over a car full of gang bangers with guns/drugs. You need the police for that.

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5Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

City Dweller is right on some issues. Take for instance the State Police Officer that sits in the parking lot at St. Christines watching his son play football. Every now and then he will pull someone over and write them a ticket. Then it is right back to watching his son play football. Allmost everyone at the school knows this, he is that bold.

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6CityDweller(6 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

First let me say I completely support the police and would pay more in taxes if it meant that the money would actually go to the police. After the tax was passed years ago, their budget wasn't increased so where did that money go?

I was not blaming the police I know they are doing everything they can with what little they have. I am blaming the mayor and city council for not hiring enough police and instead cutting them.

What I have stated is very accurate. I know for a FACT that on many nights (when most violent crimes occur) there are only about 6 patrolmen for the entire city. Just because the beats are supposed to be split up in a certain way doesn't mean they actually have the officers there to do that. There may be a total of 10 patrolmen for a single shift but there are NEVER 10 patrolmen for any singel part of town. At the very best the east has 4, west and north each 3, south 6, and 1 downtown.

I was not stating the highway patrol or YPD should pull over a car simply because it has 4 people in it. I was saying they don't want to pull over a car with that many people because it might be too dangerous for them. YPD will if they have the backup. The problem is they don't have enough patrolmen for backup. The highway patrol never pulls them over even though when they "saturate" the city they will have at least 4 cars in one small area (plenty of backup). If the highway patrol wanted to be more effective in detering crime, perhaps they should be out more at night and not bother the few people that actually work in this city and pay taxes. It is actually better for the city to have YPD write tickets because if state writes a ticket they use state codes and the state gets the majority of the money.

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