by Alex Lloyd Gross
The motels on Route 1 in Bensalem are a haven for crime. From drug dealers to human trafficking, It’s a one stop shop. To be fair, it’s not all bad, there are plenty of good people that call these motels home. It;s a small percentage that makes trouble for the rest of the people. The area puts a strain on emergency services . State Senator Robert Tomlinson and State Rep KC Tomlinson were able to secure a grant of over $900,000 to help the problem.
According to Fred Harran, Director of Public Safety For Bensalem Township, “This is going to help us a lot. The first $300,00 is going to EMS . This corridor has put a strain on them, with overdose calls, “. The area is transient, and that means people have medical problems but have no fixed address. Quite often they skip payment on the bill for the ambulance. Equipment and upkeep on the rigs are expensive. This money will help.
Then according to “We are going to buy surveillance cameras and license plate readers and install them along the Route 1 corridor. The money can also fund undercover operations”, Harran said. This could aid police in looking for suspects that comity a crime and use the Route 1 corridor as a getaway route. When asked if it could be used to assist Philadelphia or other municipalities, Harran said “It’s possible, a lot of things have to come together, it’s a lot of big “If’s”, that have to happen.” We have to get information on a specific vehicle in a timely manner, the vehicle has to drive in range of a camera and a license reader.. Should that happen, then police could get info on a car that was involved in a crime.
The original plan was for a hotel tax. When that fell through, as voters would probably rebel against getting additional money taken from them, that idea proved to be a political time bomb. The Tomlinsons are politicians that represent the Bensalem area, and were able to secure the funding. License plate readers have proven to be an effective tool in law enforcement. They were used to help nab Cosmo Dinardo in 2017. They are controversial, as many people feel that police have no business knowing exactly where they are and when. Readers are not effective when a license plate is blocked by tape or other obstruction.. It is illegal to obscure your plate. Still, there is a market for devices that hinder the reader, from plate covers to intricate license plate flippers. These are used primarily to avoid paying tolls on roads and bridges.
“People thinking of coming to Bensalem to commit a crime should rethink their destination “, said Harran