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W-B volunteer’s crime-prevention efforts earn her state recognition

The Pennsylvania Crime Commission will honor Sharon Katsock and 10 others today.

WILKES-BARRE – A city woman is among 11 Pennsylvanians being recognized today by The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Sharon Katsock will be honored with a citizen crime prevention award at the commission’s annual crime prevention conference near Harrisburg.

Katsock was nominated by Luzerne County Detective Charles J. Balogh Jr., who will join Katsock at today’s awards banquet. Balogh said this is the third year in a row a Luzerne County person was nominated and selected to receive the award. Last year, Nicholas Puchino, of Nanticoke, was among the honorees. In 2006, Charlotte Raup, of Wilkes-Barre, was named.

“Luzerne County is very fortunate we have a lot of very dedicated people who tirelessly give their time,” Balogh said. He said a nomination doesn’t guarantee being selected by the commission, but in this case, based on Katsock’s resume, he couldn’t imagine her not being honored.

Katsock has been involved with the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition for the past seven years and serves as the co-coordinator for the Parsons Crime Watch. She’s also been a leader in ensuring the annual “National Night Out” event in Wilkes-Barre takes place.

She has helped combat the graffiti problem in Wilkes-Barre by removing or covering up the spray paint from empty buildings, houses, businesses and city-owned properties. In August 2007, she and Raup, the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition director, painted over graffiti that had been spray-painted on bridge pillars of the Cross Valley Expressway off North Washington Street.

“She’s out there on the forefront trying to deter crime,” Balogh said, but she’s also out there making her neighborhood safer and cleaner. “She does give a lot of her time for her community.”

Balogh said he nominated Katsock not only for her countless volunteer hours this past year but also for years of dedication to help improve Wilkes-Barre.

“We’re benefiting from her hard work,” the detective said.

Today’s conference is part of Crime Prevention Month, which was developed by the National Crime Prevention Council to encourage volunteer collaboration in crime prevention.

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