What happens when your community becomes riddled with crime?
Well for one small town in Pennsylvania, you don’t sit back and watch it crumble, you stand up and show criminals they won’t take it over without a fight!
Approximately 40 community members marched through the streets of Shamokin, PA Monday evening carrying guns to show their unity in stopping crime.
Justin Glosek, organizer, said the concerned citizens hoped to show they would not sit idly by and watch as drug dealers took over their town.
“We want everybody in the community to come out,” he said.
The march began in the post office parking lot at around 7 p.m. After a brief rally, the group looped through town, crossing through the Fifth Ward and across town almost to Market Street. The nearly six-mile march disbanded at around 9 p.m. after members joined together at the parking lot for a talk on where and when the next gathering would take place.
This is the third time the group, which began with just Glosek and a few friends, took that route. Glosek said the group is varying its days and times of marches to keep the element of surprise and is open to change up the route to include different neighborhoods where illegal activity is occurring.
Community members from Mount Carmel and Kulpmont joined in the march, and Glosek said he is in talks with bringing marches to these areas as well as Sunbury.
Glosek said the idea of the march came to him after he decided to take his children to the Mount Carmel Town Park because he thought none of the parks in Shamokin were safe. He said he found numerous trash items and a bag of dope (heroin) at the park that day.
“I don’t believe in watching something happen,” said Glosek.
He said as the group travels through town they look for signs of drug activity, like out of state license plates.
Glosek said a key difference between his group and Shamokin Crime Watch is that they are an action-oriented group.
“I open carry because I want everyone to know we are not to be messed with,” he said.
He noted another key point is strength in numbers. He hoped drug dealers saw them marching the streets and realized they are a united community standing up against drug use, he said.
Now THAT’S a community watch program I could get behind!