WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) –Newly appointed Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner was on a mission when entering office.
One of his goals included pushing for changes in government. The 900 block of Market Street is where a deadly shooting took place this summer. Just up the road on Fourth Avenue is where another homicide took place just a couple of months ago. Both cases involved juveniles, cases that are still left unsolved.
Robberies, stabbings, and shootings. Some of the many crimes being investigated in Lycoming County.
“They got to figure out why it’s happening. Get to the root of it,” said Michael Roan of Williamsport.
It’s why District Attorney Ryan Gardner made a proposal to the county commissioners to add two new part-time county detectives.
“I’m fortunate that the commissioners have been very receptive to the platform that I laid out for them as far as reorganization of the office,” Gardner said.
The commissioners have agreed to eliminate the Assistant District Attorney position along with the full-time and part-time clerk positions in the office, making room for the new county detectives.
Garnder says it will “combat the explosion of crime in the area”.
County Commissioner Rick Mirabito spoke about the trial list.
“There are about 400 cases on our trial list so our trial list is backed up. The trial list should be about 250,” he said.
Skip Cochran of Williamsport was optimistic.
“Anything we can do to help to fight the numbers and get things back on track I’m all for it,” said Cochran.
In Williamsport alone, there are three unsolved shootings from last year. Two of them involved the deaths of minors.
“You know, that’s just the worst thing in the world, for a juvenile to get murdered,” Roan said.
Roan, a father of two, says it’s unimaginable to think what if those were his kids on the street.
“Oh, it’d probably be bad, bad. End of your life. Hard to get over. Can’t ever get over it,” Roan said.
“When you move into a new area, the first thing they look at are your schools and your crime rate so it’s important for economic growth to happen with low crime rates,” Lycoming County Commissioner Scott Metzger said.
The new DA says the plan is a win-win, saving taxpayers $25,000 a year and helping to solve crimes.
“The main objective here was to take a fiscally conservative approach,” Gardner said.
The two part-time detectives started their first day in office Tuesday. Gardner says they’re ready to hit the ground running.