The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 14, 2013

Walther’s background fits role on commission

JOHNSTOWN — Mike Walther is the statistics guy for Johnstown’s Drug and Crime Commission.

He has been given the responsibility of analyzing data to determine trends in the city’s criminal activity.

The assignment is apropos, considering his background.

Walther recently opened his own law practice after spending nearly two full decades as a federal prosecutor and executive. The New Orleans native previously worked as director of the Department of Justice’s National Drug Intelligence Center, a Johnstown-based organization that provided narcotics intelligence for the counter-drug community.

“He has more experience than anybody else in the city with gathering information about drug-related crime because he served in many positions in the Department of Justice, but, the most important one, he ran the National Drug Intelligence Center here in Johnstown for a long period of time,” said state Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Johnstown, the commission’s chairman. “He interfaced with the FBI, the ATF, the DEA. He knows all of the problems there are to know.”

Information gathered by Walther and other commission members will be used to help the Johnstown Police Department in its fight against crime.

“The thing about intelligence and statistics is they can’t identify the perpetrator of a crime, but what we can look for is trends in criminal activity that help us decide, do we have a large enough police force and are they deployed in the right fashion?” Walther said.

Walther has already made some initial findings since the commission started meeting in January.

“Our preliminary review of statistics says that there’s really not an overall uptick in crime,” he said.

“What we’re seeing is, if you look at the statistics by wards, we’re seeing increases in some wards, but we’re also seeing decreases in other wards.”

Still, much work remains to be done.

“We’re just sort of beginning to peel the onion back on this,” said Walther, the commission’s vice chairman.

He is also serving as chairman for the law enforcement subcommittee, which includes Johnstown police Chief Craig Foust and Cambria County First Assistant District Attorney Heath Long.

“You put those three people together, we’re confident we will be able to make some recommendations to get a better situation,” Barbin said.

The commission will remain active until summer. It will then issue a report to City Council with recommendations on how to address local crime problems.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads