Officials to buff Norristown's image

NORRISTOWN Norristown and Montgomery County law enforcement authorities will team up to address perceptions that Norristown is a dangerous place and hone plans to combat the crime that does occur, officials said Monday.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Police Department, the county Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, and SEPTA police will hold a news conference at Municipal Hall to discuss their crime-fighting, image-changing efforts for the seat of Montgomery County, Norristown officials said.

Norristown has an image, said Police Chief Mark E. Talbot Sr., of being overwhelmed by routine violence. While Talbot said that image is not borne out by facts, it needs to be addressed if the municipality is to step up its economic development.

Their plan has three objectives, officials said, which they will outline Wednesday: to decrease the public's fear of crime; increase highly visible "multifaceted policing in the community"; and create better collaboration around policing priorities.

"We acknowledge that we haven't maximized on the impact of a formal collaboration to change the perception of safety in Norristown," Talbot said.

Talbot became chief in November, succeeding Russell Bono, who retired and then left retirement to become county sheriff this year. - Carolyn Davis