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PA Gov Wolf Announces 24 Counties to Reopen; Philly Police New Arrest Policy; Death Row Inmate Dies
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/01/20 7:49 pm | updated: 05/01/20 7:52 pm
 
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on Friday, May 1, that 24 counties in the northwestern and north-central regions of the state will begin to reopen next Friday, May 8. Those areas will move from the 'red' phase to the 'yellow' phase in Wolf's three-phase COVID-19 reopening plan. The 'yellow phase' lifts strict stay-at-home orders in favor of aggressive mitigation and retail stores and businesses can reopen while following safety guidelines. However, gatherings greater than 25 are prohibited; gyms, movies, and entertainment venues remain closed; restaurants and bars can still only offer carry-out or delivery. An area must see 50 total new cases per 100,000 people or fewer over 14 days. Other requirements to move forward include expanded testing, hospital capacity, and ability to respond to a flare up or surge.

The counties identified to move to the 'yellow' phase next week are: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango and Warren. There is no indication when the rest of the state will start to reopen, only that our southeastern region will be last.

The Philadelphia Police Department has updated its arrest policy put into place in late March due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. At that point, police officers and supervisors stopped taking offenders into custody and processing them at precincts for many non-violent crimes. Offenders would still be arrested on scene, issued a summons for the offense, but then released. The officers will then file all the necessary paperwork. If charges are approved, then they will be arrested on a warrant at a later time, presumably after the virus crisis. That policy was announced on March 17. Crimes that fell under the category included theft, burglary, prostitution, stolen automobiles, vandalism, certain economic crimes, and all narcotics activity.

The Police Department has now removed Burglary, Theft From Auto, Theft from Person, Stolen Auto, and Retail Theft from that list. Offenders will now been arrested, taken into custody, and 'processed in the traditional manner.' There has been a rise of retail theft, blatant shoplifting, and mobs raiding stores. Some offenders were flaunting the law because they did not fear being arrested and locked up for petty theft.

"At the time of the change, the Department was clear in that the list of offenses was subject to review and revision as conditions continued to evolve," said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, "Predictably, conditions have, in fact, evolved in dynamic fashion. Accordingly, we have reviewed our current protocols and have made several adjustments."

A man on death row for the 2016 rape, murder, and dismemberment of his girlfriend's 14-year-old adoptive daughter has died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. According to the Montgomery County coroner's office, 47-year-old Jacob Sullivan passed away on Thursday, 4/30, at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. He was being held at SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, Montgomery County. Sullivan pled guilty to first degree murder and other charges in the death of Grace Packer. Jurors deliberated over parts of three days in the penalty phase before deciding on the death penalty. Sarah Packer, Grace's mother, pled guilty to her part in the rape-murder fantasy and received life in prison.

 
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(1) response

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 05/01 7:52 pm
 
47-year-old Jacob Sullivan

 

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