Motorcycle noise, teddy bears discussed at Zone 3 safety meeting
The May 18 meeting of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council meeting included discussion of motorcycles on Grandview Ave., National Night Out, and teddy bears.
The latter topic was brought up by public safety council secretary Donna Williams, who conducted the meeting.
She said three officers recently removed children from an Allentown home during a kitchen fire before the fire trucks arrived. The next day, two children saw one of the officers and ran to him.
The officer said he wished he had something to give them.
Mrs. Williams said when she mentioned his request people gave her a bag of teddy bears.
She asked if attendees could collect more, and bring them to the Zone 3 station so officers could grab a few and give to children when a similar situation arises.
An attendee said he would ask the three area council members to donate money Mrs. Williams could use to buy teddy bears.
Mrs. Williams said the public safety council has bylaws, and cannot accept money as of yet. But it can take items.
Zone 3 Commander Larry Scirotto said the group could write proposals and apply for grants. Information on how to do so can be found on the Internet.
Next, a Mt. Washington resident complained about a group of about 40 motorcyclists who speed up and down Grandview Ave., sometimes until 1 a.m. They also rev up their engines, sit a few minutes, and then rev them up again.
Commander Scirotto said the police cannot ban motorcycles from Grandview Ave. Until noise ordinances change their hands are also tied. Revving up does not break a law as it is natural noise from a vehicle.
The attendee also said the city touts Grandview Ave. for tourists, but some motorcyclists make comments to visitors.
The commander said he would continue to work on this. To a suggestion of posting signs, he said signs cannot be erected against groups people do not like.
“We will come up with a comprehensive solution,” he said.
On another topic, he said surveillance cameras donated by businesses are coming to a block of Brownsville Rd.
He said while it may not deter crime, it will let criminals know they are being watched. Grandview Park is also targeted for cameras.
He also said Knoxville is becoming the zone’s most volatile neighborhood with the recent shootings.
He called it “our neighborhood of concern,” and said a “violent crime response” will be implemented.
After questioning the organizers, she learned the event, which is in the initial planning stages, would be a sidewalk sale with food vendors and other merchants. Festivities will include child-friendly activities.
The event would run from noon to 7 p.m. on each of the three days. No alcohol will be served outdoors.
Live music would end at 7 p.m. An option being looked at is closing the 18th St. parking lot and setting the band up there.
Rich Cupka is an organizer, and residents should see him with concerns.
The commander said no street closures have been applied for regarding the food fest.
A South Side resident said she does not want the event to turn into another St. Patrick’s Day, which she called the worst day in the neighborhood. She asked about legislation a state lawmaker wants to introduce that would allow alcohol to be served until 4 a.m.
The commander said there has been no movement on it.
Next, Liz Style of the city’s Dept. of Public Safety said Pittsburgh was selected as one of six pilot cities for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.
Funded by the Department of Justice, its goal is to improve relationships and increase trust between communities and the criminal justice system. The national team was scheduled to be in Pittsburgh that week.
She also said National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
To register your block watch, and for more information, visit: http://goo.gl/8Yv5ew.
A family-friendly kick-off for the event is scheduled for July 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Market Square, downtown.
Another upcoming event will take place in Grandview Park on June 13. Activities include: planting flowers at 9 a.m .; yoga class at 10:30 a.m .; and movies at night.
The commander said that beginning June 1, and from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., a “community response car” will be patrolling neighborhoods.
The goal is to allow residents to get to know the officers responsible for their neighborhoods.
The officers will work in conjunction with community resource officers Christine Luffey and Eric Baker.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. on June 15 in the Zone 3 police station.