Across the state officials say the crime rate is on the rise.
A State Senate majority policy committee is touring the State to hear the concerns in local communities.
Today Senators heard testimony in Ebensburg about the increase of crime.
The committee says Pennsylvania has the fastest rising crime rate of all the North East states. Citing the FBI who reported the crime rate has risen 27 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Local law enforcement members say drugs continue to be the root of most of the problems.
“Heroin has overtaken us and requires most of our police attention, in the past we used to dedicate a lot to community engagement, public service issues. Now it’s more into crime related issues.”
According to the officials, Johnstown already has twice as many homicides this year as compared to all of last year. Leading to the discussion for the need for more police officers better pay and better equipment.
“It’s unfathomable what happens in this region. Drugs are a major problem, but another problem is we just don’t have the boots on the ground to tackle it head on, all we are is reactive right now.”