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Norristown PD Steps Up Presence with New Task Force

The "Aggressive Enforcement Unit" is a new partnership between police, county sheriff and detective departments, state troopers and the narcotics enforcement team.

Norristown Patch readers this past weekend reported seeing increased police presence and even noting the participation of Pennsylvania State Troopers and what appear to be undercover units in a number of recent police responses in Norristown.

According to Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono, the show of force is all part of a new effort he has been working on with other county and state authorities.

"[We] call it the 'Aggressive Enforcement Unit,'" said Chief Bono.

Bono noted that the task force is made possible with "tremendous cooperation" from Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Whalon Behr, the Montgomery County Detectives Unit, The Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET), Pennsylvania State Police and the Montgomery County Adult Probation and Parole Department. While they have not yet been involved, Chief Bono added that Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) may also be asked to participate.

While he declined to comment on the specific mission or parameters of the AEU, Chief Bono pointed out that the goal is very similar to that of the department's Bee Sting Unit which was discontinued in 2011 for lack of funding and manpower.

"I believe the loss of the Bee Sting Unit has been very detrimental to Norristown," said Chief Bono. "Because we no longer have the ability to conduct operations like we are doing now with this task force."

Chief Bono declined to go into specifics, but confirmed that arrests have already resulted from task force efforts.

"I think the results of the task force thus far, which have been very positive, demonstrate the need for Norristown to have a unit similar to the Bee Sting Unit," said Chief Bono. 

The task force, a response to the recent increase in violent crime in Norristown, is being partially funded with money from a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), which is going towards overtime costs for Norristown officers. County and state law enforcement are bearing their own costs for the task force in an effort to aid the municipality. 

The hope is that the increased law enforcement presence will eliminate the opportunity for would-be criminals to strike.

"My philosophy has always been, 'You can't stop someone from having a desire to commit a crime, but you can take away their opportunity,'" said Chief Bono. "We're trying to take away the opportunity for people to go out there and shoot up this town and kill people. The way you do that is by having a constant police presence. It works."

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Bhrenda Drakeford January 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Well its about time!!! Who was sitting behind the desk twittling their thumbson this problem!!!
Mohandus Frieri January 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Pending retiree Bono and NPD should have waited another year and 30 more shot dead before doing anything.
OMG January 15, 2013 at 12:03 PM
We should have had the State police a long time ago when this was presented before. I like having them around because the town is like a ghost. I wonder how long it will last and I'm sure the minute they leave it will start. I don't think they should take risks violating people's civil rights doing this though.
anonymous January 15, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Thanks AEU. Good job Police Chief Russell Bono and those involved. this is a BIG step in the right direction. With the warm & hot weather around the corner, things would only get worse as people get irritable and tensions flare. I suggest that you use more of todays technology, the social media for information for example (twitter, texting, facebook etc,). Have the post office deliver flyers with these contact information. I'm sure they're be some wild goose chases, but they'll be some big catches too.
big jon January 15, 2013 at 02:19 PM
A little late but good job...hope it stays for awhile and it will greatly help the hell going on in this town
gerhard sweetman January 15, 2013 at 03:10 PM
There is a out of box fix for snitching, gangs, ect. Its so simple & off the wall that the senior center, weed & seed, schools,parents,& the police havnt tried. They cant because its off the wall
anonymous January 15, 2013 at 04:45 PM
You just said a whole lot of nothing GS!
bakshotbandit January 15, 2013 at 08:56 PM
All Yall r snitches....n under cover cops
anonymous January 15, 2013 at 09:06 PM
YEA!!! 34,000 STRONG!
anonymous January 15, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Too, bad! you're the type of roach we want out we want exterminate!!!
gerhard sweetman January 15, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Free friendly advice is ignored, if they were creative enough they could of put the operation together with luck & no blockages from the #####
DatLilNiggaPacking.45 January 15, 2013 at 09:50 PM
norristown is infested wit rats we have a BIG problem...@ anonymous everbody dnt get what they want in life...you got your pigs in my town be happy wit dat they wont be here that long fool
patchsux January 15, 2013 at 09:56 PM
@ lillnig w/45 this no snitching think is the dumbest thing i ever herd of. if you see someone shot and killed you shouldn't say anything? what if it a family member or your child? why would you not want someone to speak up? why? it is only the criminal scum that thinks this way and that is who needs to be exterminated ! oh that's right if it's your peeps that are victimized then you want people to say something but other then that they should keep there mouth shut? and you think the streets are fine. i see you have a quality education and were raised with proper morals. f***ing loser!! it is pieces of shit like you that have ruined the town. analyzing your post my guess is you dont work for a living, live in a section 8 house, and get food stamps. maybe you should think about getting a job unless you are planning to go back to jail. YOU PIECE OF SHIT !!!
DatLilNiggaPacking.45 January 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM
@growyourown see this why people get shot out here cause they dnt kno how to watch what they say out they mouth...i dnt got no kids dickhead and if someone get killed in my family i want blood a eye for an eye...majority of the people that get killed in town attempt to live the street life but got caught up or got caught slippin.. it happens high stacks life...majority of the people in the street make way more then a person wit a legit job DICKHEAD...the weak die young...DONT HATE ON FOODSTAMPS
TiTimothy January 16, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Does anybody speak English on here or is this just Ebonics only?
Strategic Wear January 16, 2013 at 08:42 AM
Snitches LOL really what a joke there no need for that anymore . The criminal mind of today are not thinkers. Case in point who argues on Newspaper article about more police presence. Who do you think is reading it lol good luck your future is bright from the end of a spotlight.
OMG January 16, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Wooooow, lol. I think I am now cross eyed.
mainlinestunner January 17, 2013 at 05:44 PM
I always thought Norristown was a shithole. Let them keep their "rat & pig free" shithole town and run it into the ground...i'm sure they'll need help one day and will think differently of the "pigs" that will be there to help. Hearing them brag about their "life of crime" should make all educated people feel better about themselves...i know it makes me appreciate my amazing upbringing.
bakshotbandit January 18, 2013 at 03:04 AM
Here we go ppl still bitchin if u don't like town or what's goin on just move
wiseman January 18, 2013 at 06:46 PM
profiling), you are not smart you are not a brave man, for if you were you would not be trying to justify what you think, the way you see things is not the status quo, or the norm.what you say represent who you are. i don't believe you are as stupid as you sound.what ever you do to survive that's your job your business but remember it is someone's job( business) to stop you.
Mary Ellen Digregorio January 20, 2013 at 08:49 PM
DatLilNiggaPacking.45 + bakshotbandit, I am a homeowner, resident and Community activist in Norristown and I will make sure I keep my ears out for people talking like you so that I know who I am reporting to the police when they feel they are above the LAW. "An eye for eye may ass" God said turn the other cheek not kill them Dead.....
MG January 20, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Whew! I have never read such stupid, ignorant violations of the English language. DatLilNiggaPacking.45 and bakshotbandit - GREAT names -hahaha. The PERFECT example of the scum that lives here. Get a job, get a life, get some God, and get the F&#K out of MY home town..........People like YOU helped create this mess here in Ntown and I hope the police get rid of some of you.

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