Raup recognized for role in Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected]
Charlotte Raup receives a proclamation and a key to the city for her work in the community with Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition from Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader Charlotte Raup receives a proclamation and a key to the city for her work in the community with Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition from Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Charlotte Raup chose to close out her role in the neighborhood Crime Watch program the same way she got into it in 1994.

The Parsons’ resident said she will no longer serve as president of the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition, but will stay active in her neighborhood group. She was recognized for her service with a proclamation declaring Wednesday as Charlotte Raup Day in Wilkes-Barre and Mayor Tony George presented her with a key to the city.

“This is overwhelming. I didn’t expect anything like this,” Raup said as her husband Greg looked on during a brief ceremony at City Hall. “I did this starting off real slow and never expected to be here 25 years, but I hope in the time that I was here that I did help better our city. That’s all, thank you. This is cool.”

At 63, it was time to bring on new leadership to the volunteer organization, Raup added. “We have to hand the torch to the younger folks at this time,” she said.

That doesn’t mean the focus has changed, Raup stressed. “It’s still about crime prevention,” she said.

George, a former city police chief and officer, backed her up on that point too. “That’s the whole idea. That’s why it was started,” he said. The group members act as the “eyes and ears” for law enforcement, alerting them to suspicious activity, he added.

“The police can only be in so many places at one time. And we have more eyes on the street,” said Ray Arellano. The 84-year-old Navy veteran has worked with Raup for 12 years and stepped down as recording secretary of the Coalition.

Arellano credited Raup with helping set up Crime Watch groups in Plymouth and Plains Township.

The Coalition under Raup’s leadership held community events from gun safety programs to the annual National Night Out. It also help raise funds to purchase a K-9 dog for the city police department, George pointed out. In addition, he listed several awards she received: the Governor’s Award for Volunteerism in 2006, the Jefferson Award in 2008 from the American Institute for Public Service and the 2009 Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers’ Association Volunteer of the Year.

Early on in George’s career with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, he worked with Raup, having been appointed by the late Mayor Lee Namey as Crime Watch officer. “I was there when she started,” George said.

Past and present members of the department attended the ceremony: retired Capt. Tom Merlie; City Councilman and former Chief Bill Barrett; former Chief Marcella Lendacky; Chief Joseph Coffay; and Community Policing Officer Kirk Merchel. Councilmen Mike Belusko and Mike Merritt and City Administrator Rick Gazenski also attended.

Charlotte Raup receives a proclamation and a key to the city for her work in the community with Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition from Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/web1_TTL120619Raup1-1.jpgCharlotte Raup receives a proclamation and a key to the city for her work in the community with Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition from Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Jerry Lynott

[email protected]

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.