READING, Pa. — After two teenagers were shot Monday afternoon in Reading, Councilwoman Donna Reed made a statement about crime and quality of life in the city during council's evening meeting.
"I do think we need to be cognizant of the shootings that have occurred," Reed said following the meeting's administrative report. "The report is full of good and happy news, but we have to be realistic about some of the situations occurring in our city, the quality-of-life issues and the prevalence of gun violence."
Reed said the city's residents are seeing a decline in their quality of life and are concerned about rising crime.
"Life is more than a photo op here and a smile there," Reed said. "We have to be realistic about what is going on the city."
"I love the city, but things aren't all peachy keen," she added. "Sometimes, I feel these reports deal with surface issues but not the visceral issues. We have to face head-on what the city is facing. Our residents deserve better than what we are giving them."
Abraham Amoros, the city's managing director, said he didn't dispute anything Reed said but reminded the council that addressing issues is a collective effort.
"What we present is all factual — we do not shy away from the tough, difficult situations that have to be made on a daily basis," Amoros said. "We are not bashful about tackling the tough issues."
Police Chief Richard Tornielli responded to Reed by saying the police are in the very early stages of an investigation of Monday's shooting. He called it a tragedy.
"I want to clarify that our crime rates are going down," Tornielli said. "We try to address quality-of-life issues, but our focus is on violent crime. We're focused on the real issues that affect the quality of life."
"Overall — and this is not window-dressing — crime is down throughout the city when we see crime raising drastically across the country," he added. "We are on top of things."
Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said the council should have discussions about quality-of-life issues as budget season approaches.