The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 5, 2014

Anti-drug campaign paying dividends

Program has resulted in busts, organizers say

JOHNSTOWN — Organizers of “Push Out the Pusher” say the campaign has resulted in hundreds of telephone calls to the tipline and four major drug busts in the Greater Johnstown area.

The 2-month-old Cambria County Crime Stoppers program was launched to battle the increase in drug overdoses and is having an impact, said Gary Martin, Crime Stoppers president.

“They want to kick out the druggies,” he said. “It’s their neighborhood and people are totally fed up.”

Kevin Price, supervisor of the drug task force, said the hotline has received several hundred additional calls.

“Some people are calling for the first time,” he said. “They’re scared, but they’re willing to take that step.”

Tips have resulted in four drug busts, and 10 other investigations are in the works.

About 1,500 “Push Out the Pusher” yard signs were given out and 1,500 additional signs will be available this week, Martin said.

“People are putting them in their yards, trying to make a difference in their communities,” he said.

Martin said Crime Stoppers has awarded $1,500 to tipsters over the past two months, but many callers aren’t even interested in the money.

Crime Stoppers offers up to $5,000.

“People want to make a difference, and the impact of the campaign is phenomenal,” he said.

The hotline number is 800-548-7500.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD8.


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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