Police chief updates council on Thrills; notes crime issues

CLEARFIELD – Those who have scanners already know that during Thrills in the Hills, police radio traffic was high on Saturday.

Clearfield Borough Police Chief Jeff Rhone told borough council on Thursday at their work session that although there were few incidents during the event, held last weekend, one was “substantial,” requiring the assistance of several other are police departments.

The investigation is continuing on that incident.

“I think the rain helped us out quite a bit this year,” Rhone said.

As for other incidents of crime in the borough, officers made 92 criminal arrests during the month of May. Last May, officers made 55 criminal arrests. On the traffic side, 61 arrests were made in May, as compared to 41 made last may. Police responded to 109 complaints this May, but 66 last May.

“Crime is still running rampant,” Rhone said.

The department itself isn’t even exempt from the increasing number of incidents.

On the night of May 16, an officer was assaulted while in East End; he was off duty for two weeks after that incident.

Rhone said two borough police cars were damaged while they were parked near the police station. One of the vehicles sustained about $600 in damage. On the same night, a sign at the police station was broken.

“We take this as part of our jobs,” Rhone said. However, he noted that some incidents are going beyond the workplace.

“It’s also affecting their homes and their private lives.”

As a result of the recent incidents, Rhone asked the council if two motion lights could be installed at a cost of about $100. It was approved, and the issue will be voted on June 15 during the regular council meeting.

“I think, with the way things are – and again we’re a more aggressive department – that it’s only going to get worse.”

Editor’s note: Clearfield Borough Police issued an amended statement Friday morning. It was two vehicles owned by police officers that were damaged, one of which cost more than $600 to repair.

Other Clearfield Borough/Thrills in the Hills news:

Susan Reed, borough council member, also expressed concern about the motorcyclists who drove into Clearfield and were not familiar with the area.

“Those roads are difficult to negotiate in a vehicle,” she said, speaking of the road construction happening as part of the borough’s sewer project.

“I’m surprised we didn’t have more accidents.”

Reed noted that other activities are planned in the coming months, and the construction will continue right through happenings such as the Clearfield County Fair.

“If our intention is to bring people into the community, then the least we can ask is for them to have a safe entry,” Reed said.

Bob Ogden, street commissioner, said it would be one to two years after the completion of the sewer project before roads receive the look and feel they will have in the coming years.

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