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					Berks County
                          Counties have a long history
Commissioners                  of providing critical
                                services. County
                              governments are the
                           citizen’s local government
                           voice, providing solutions
                             that bring communities
                                    together.
                              In recognition of the
                           leadership, innovation and
                          valuable service provided by
                               all of Berks County’s
                               citizens, volunteers,
                              employees and public
                            officials we would like to
Thomas W. Gajewski, Sr.      provide this informative
                            presentation as a special
   Judith L. Schwank      recognition for their efforts
     Mark C. Scott
                   Protecting Our
                    Communities
America’s counties provide a variety of essential services. Many
of these services work to protect our communities. Counties
protect residents from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, crime
and drug abuse. Counties are the first to respond to emergency
situations and are primarily responsible for planning for
disasters. Counties provide for open space and farmland
preservation. Counties also work to protect families, children
and youth and the elderly. There are 3,066 counties in the
United States, collectively responsible for the well being of more
Than 250 million residents. Counties provide services that make
America’s communities stronger, safer places to live and raise
families. Counties help troubled youth, train laid-off workers
and perform countless other jobs.
                               Berks County 9-1-1
                             Communications Center
                           633 Court Street Reading, PA
                                      19601


  2005 Berks County
  Communications Center
  Compiled Statistics

• 184,612 actual 9-1-1 calls
  {90,936 wire line calls &
  93,676 wireless calls}
• 258,704 additional ten-
  digit calls
• 156,300 law enforcement
  dispatches
• 58,473 fire/EMS dispatches


                    Providing Emergency
                      Communications
                 BERKS COUNTY

                                                            Berks County Emergency
                                  EMA
                                                            ManagementThe Mission of




                                                     T
                                                             Emergency Management Is the
            EM




                                                    EN
                                                M
             ER
                                                           Judicious Planning, Assignment and




                                                E
                                            G
                 G
                  E




                                            A
                      N
                                                         Coordination of All Available Resources
                          C                 N
                              Y         A
                                    M
                                                               in an Integrated Program of
•   Mitigation - Includes any activities                 Prevention, Mitigation, Response, and
    that prevent a disaster, or reduce the               Recovery for Emergencies of Any Kind.
    chance of a disaster happening, or                   The Emergency Management Program
    reduce the damaging effects of                        Represents Insurance to Protect the
    unavoidable disasters. .
                                                         County and Its Citizens When Disaster
•   Preparedness - Includes plans                           Strikes and Reduces the County’s
    or preparations made to save lives or
    property and help the response and                    Liability for Hazards That May Strike.
    rescue service operations.
•   Response - Includes actions taken                    In 2005, 209 reportable incidents were
    to save lives and prevent property                       noted by the EMA Duty Officer.
    damage and to preserve the                               EMA took part in eight counter
    environment during emergencies or                    terrorism Task Force training exercises
    disasters. The response phase is                     and The Emergency Operations Center
    implementing your action plans.                         was partially activated for a flood
•   Recovery - Includes actions that                      event and a Search and Rescue Effort
    assist a community to return to a
    sense of normalcy after a disaster.
•   These four phases overlap.                             Preparing for Emergencies
       Berks County Fire Training Center
             895 Morgantown Rd.
              Reading, PA 19607

              It is the mission of the Berks
              County Fire Training Center to
              provide current, topical, and
              safe training to emergency
              responders in Berks County.
              Further, it is our mission to
              ensure that this training is
              provided at a cost which
              will encourage attendance by
              those individuals, most of whom
              are volunteers.

              During 2005
               5324 persons attended training
               332 individual training classes
               94 individuals completed
                 professional certifications

Training our First Responders
                            SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP
      152
      7



                    The Berks County Special Operations Group (SOG)
            Be
              rks   is the operational arm of the Berks County
                    Emergency Management Agency. The SOG facilitates
                    professional and efficient response to incidents
                    involving hazardous materials at locations within the
                    borders of Berks County, the East Central
                    Pennsylvania Counter-Terrorism Task Force, and any
•Preserve
                    other location when requested by the
life
                    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Emergency
                    Management Agency (PEMA). The SOG works in
•Stabilize          conjunction with the local emergency response
the scene           community to protect the safety of emergency
                    responders and the general public from releases of
•Protect            toxic/hazardous substances whether the release is
public and          accidental or intentional.
private             During 2005 the SOG Hazmat Team participated in
property            two full-scale exercises, received 92 PEIRS –
                    reportable incidents involving hazardous material
                    (80% of which were a petroleum product)
•Protect the
environment         In 2006, the SOG will be working to stand up its
                    technical rescue team to respond to incidents
                    involving trench and structural collapse.
                     Responding to Emergencies
 The "Deputy Phil" program
is a bridge to help us reach        The Berks County          I.D. Me is a child identification
   our children to instill a     Sheriff’s Office as part  program that enhances the Code
responsible level of positive    of the County’s Crime       Amber Alert System. The Berks
     attitudes and safety             Prevention and
                                  Community Policing
                                                           County Sheriff’s Office captures a
awareness. These ideas are                                digital photo of the child and stores
   presented to our youth              initiatives has
 through a unique series of      presented confidential     it on the County of Berks secure
    illustrations and work      seminar where you can        computer network. If the child
    projects. Informative          learn the personal        would become the victim of an
        books, animated               safety tips and      abduction, the digital photo along
   presentations, teacher       techniques you need to with the child’s demographics would
       input and parental            avoid dangerous
                                  situations, and avoid
                                                           be sent to the Pennsylvania State
 participation are the main                                    Police for submission to the
ingredients of this valuable       becoming a victim.
           program.
                                                          Pennsylvania Code Amber Alert
                                                          organization, provided that the
                                                         Activation Criteria would apply. If
               Crime Prevention                         the criteria is met, the Amber Alert
                                                         System would then be activated.
     23rd Judicial
       District
     Mission Statement
The 23rd Judicial District of Pennsylvania,
located in the County of Berks, shall
administer justice according to the law          23RD JUDICIAL DISTRICT CORE VALUES
equally to all people, while providing           The officials and employees of the 23rd Judicial
independent and accessible forums for the        District value the following principles:
fair and prompt resolution of disputes.
                                                 1. Building public trust and confidence in
                                                      judicial process.
     BERKS COUNTY COURT OF                       2. Providing expeditious and timely access to
         COMMON PLEAS                                 justice.
The President Judge of the Berks County          3. Maintaining equality, fairness and integrity
Court of Common Pleas is the administrative           in all that we do as judiciary representatives.
head of the 23rd Judicial District of            4. Ensuring judicial independence always,
Pennsylvania.       Berks County Court of             while remaining accountable for judicial
Common Pleas Judges, Magisterial District             process.
Courts, and court services departments make
up the 23rd Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
                                                       COURT SERVICES PROGRAMS
                                                 Numerous innovative court-related programs have
   Court of Common Pleas                         been developed and implemented in recent years.
                           The County Detective Branch of the Berks
     District              County District Attorney's Office is divided
                           into three major divisions:

     Attorney              (1) Narcotic Division, including:
                                 (a) Investigation Unit;
                                 (b) Asset Forfeiture Unit;
  Mission Statement              (c) Weed & Seed.
The goal of the District (2) Investigation Division, including:
Attorney's Office is to          (a) Violent Crime Task Force;
review, investigate,             (b) Elder Abuse;
deter, and objectively           (c) Domestic Violence;
prosecute all violations in      (d) Major Crimes;
                                 (e) Child Abuse;
order to protect the
                                 (f) Tobacco Control Enforcement;
rights and ensure the
                                 (g) Domestic Relations Warrant Unit;
safety of the citizens of
                                 (h) Gang Intelligence Unit; and
Berks County,
                                 (i) Community Policing.
Pennsylvania.
                           (3) Driving Under the Influence of
                               Alcohol (DUI)/Underage Driving,
                               including:
                                 (a) Sobriety Checkpoint Program
 Criminal Investigation
   The Agricultural                             The Adopt-An-Acre
    Conservation                                        program
 Easement Program                              Provides a mechanism
       Encourages                                  for individuals,
landowners to make a                             organizations, and
        long term                              corporations to donate
    commitment to                                funds to the Berks
agriculture by offering                          County Agricultural
      them financial                              Land Preservation
     incentives and                                 Board for the
security of land use.                          permanent protection
  Under this program                            of farmland in Berks
    Berks county as                                    County.
successfully preserved                           Under this program
and protected 44,217                             26 acres have been
         acres of                                     permanently
   agricultural land.                              preserved with
                                                     $52,223 in
                                                    contributions.
                          Preserving Our Farmland
                                           •   November 2004 - Berks County
The Berks County EAC was                       EAC unveils its website becoming
established by the Berks County                the first EAC in Pennsylvania to
Commissioners in May of 2004 to                integrate the PA DEP's e-facts
assist the Commissioners in
                                               system within a local
evaluating environmental projects
and appraising how the County can              website: www.berkseac.org
best protect the health, safety and        •   June 2005 - Environmental
welfare of its citizens. The role of the       Applications Review Policy
EAC is to address environmental            •   October 4, 2005 - The BCEAC
issues and to present solutions for
                                               unveils the Berks County Hazecam
the County to best deal with matters
regarding the environment. The EAC             which is the first visual
functions as a think tank for the              air pollution monitoring device in
commissioners and was founded to               the State of Pennsylvania.
be an objective party to help those in     •   April 2006- Children's Health
the decision making process                    Initiative including the County’s
understand complicated                         First Children’s Environmental
environmental issues more clearly
                                               Health Web Site and an educational
and to provide unbiased solutions to
issues that will have the greatest             booklet, entitled A Child’s World:
overall benefit to the entire                  children and the environment.
community.
                         Protecting our Environment
                    The Berks County Office of Aging (also known
                    as the Area Agency on Aging) is the department
                    of county government responsible for planning,
                    developing and coordinating services to the
                    70,000-plus Berks County residents age 60 and
                    older and for certain long-term care services for
                    adults under age 60.

 Protective Services are those
    activities authorized under
 Penna. Law Act 79 "Older Adult
    Protective Services Act" to
   detect, prevent, reduce, or
     eliminate abuse, neglect,
 exploitation, and abandonment
  of persons 60 years of age or
  older and are just one of the
 services provided by the Berks
      County Office of Aging:
In fiscal year 04-05 the Berks
 County Office of Aging provided
    protective services to 333
       Berks County Citizens

                    Protecting our Elderly Citizens
                                       Berks County Children and Youth
                                                  Services
                                    Protect children and assure their physical & emotional
                                       well-being as provided by law, and to preserve,
                                             strengthen & empower their families.




Our Agency is assigned to protect children,
up to eighteen years of age, from abuse and
neglect. The staff investigate all reports of          Operation Safe Kids
child maltreatment in Berks County. For
families at risk of future abuse or                    Parents, Educators, and the
neglect, services and monitoring are                   Community working together to
implemented to ensure child safety and
allow the children to remain in their                  protect our kids from Internet
homes. For some cases, placement outside               Predators
the family's home is warranted. When this
happens, the parents participate in services           •The Threats - How Real
to allow the children's safe return. For
situations in which a safe return is not able          •What Kids are doing with
to occur, the Berks County Children and                Computers
Youth Services staff request that the Court
terminate parental rights. A permanent                 •Empowering Children with
adoptive situation is located, often within the        Knowledge
child's family and/or community.

                                Protecting our Children
                                             The mission of the Council on Chemical Abuse is to provide
                                             countywide leadership in the development and
                                             implementation of policies, programs and a system of
                                             prevention and intervention services that prevent the onset
                                             of illegal alcohol, tobacco and drug use and treatment
                                             services that promote recovery from addiction to all
                                             substances.
                                             The Council provides prevention, intervention and treatment
                                             services through many Berks County organizations.
                                             Prevention services protect members of the community
                                             from the risk factors of substance abuse and include Berks
                                             PRIDE, BUSTED!, Peer Mediation, Drug Free Express/DFX
                                             Kids Club, Earn & Learn Program, and Safe Homes.

                                             Intervention Programs provide the opportunity for any
                                             substance abuse disorder to be successfully treated by
Council on Chemical Abuse serves as the      allowing others the opportunity to intervene. These services
coordinating agency for publicly supported   include Mental Illness Substance Abuse (MISA) Program,
drug and alcohol programming in Berks        Student Assistance Program (SAP), Second CHANCE
County. These services are made possible     Program, Teen Parenting Program, Berks County Youth
through the Berks County Board of            Center Intervention Program, central intake and referral,
Commissioners, tax dollars received from     Berks County Alcohol Safe Driving Program, hotline and
federal and state governments through the    drop-in services, screening and group counseling at Berks
Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs          County Prison, Treatment Court, Berks County Probation and
(Pennsylvania Department of Health), the     Parole services, and interventions through Berks County
United Way of Berks County, and private      Children and Youth Services (BCCYS).
monies received from client fees and         Treatment/Case Management Services provide
private/corporate contributions.             management and care for a patient suffering from alcohol or
                                             drug abuse, in order to reduce or eliminate the adverse
   2005 Annual Report                        effects of the disease upon the patient and include
                                             Treatment Access and Services Center (TASC), Pregnant
       Substance Abuse                       Women and Women with Children specialized services, MISA
                                             Program, and Transitional Housing. A complete list of
         Prevention                          services and agencies is available.

				
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