New commander to be named for Zone 3 by the end of the month
(Editor's Note: On Monday afternoon, too late for publication, Lt. Karen Dixon was promoted to Commander and assigned to Zone 3.)
Pittsburgh Police Assistant Chief of Operations Scott Schubert attended the meeting to update the council on the bureau's search for a new commander after several organizational shifts have led to three different commanders in the past seven months.
"The priority right now is to fill a position to cover Zone 3," Chief Schubert said. "The chief has selected the person who is going to take that position."
Chief Schubert was unable to disclose the name of the selected candidate, but the new commander will be announced at the end of the month when the bureau appoints promotions. Because the candidate is being promoted, Chief Schubert speculates he or she will likely serve a longer tenure in the commander position.
Lt. Lori McCartney has been serving as acting commander since former commander Larry Scirotto was moved to head the Major Crimes Division in early June. She did not apply for the Zone 3 commander position.
The meeting was conducted by public safety council secretary Donna Williams and covered several other announcements and concerns from those in attendance.
Concerns about motorcycle noise on Grandview Avenue were raised again by several community members who said groups of riders are revving engines in the late afternoon and continuing to do so until the early morning.
"It just echos because we're like a valley up there," a Mount Washington resident said. "Someone's going to get hurt. They're doing wheelies, and they're doing tricks on Grandview Avenue late at night."
According to Lt. McCartney, several officers have been patrolling the area, and there isn't much they can do about the noise; however, there will be an attempt to crack down on racing and speeding.
"The loud mufflers, there is very little that we can do about that," Lt. McCartney said. "Now racing up and down the street, that's another story."
Residents also suggested several solutions including increased patrols, seeking help from city council, and even trying to reason with the riders.
Another resident raised a concern about skateboarders at Morse Gardens apartments on Sarah Street.
According to the resident, skateboarders are riding on the handicap accessible ramps and making it difficult for residents to get in and out. Lt. McCartney encouraged the resident to call the police to resolve the issue.
Details about the upcoming National Night Out were also discussed. The event will be held on August 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.
According to Liz Style from the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, anyone can celebrate the event by holding small parties in their home or large events in the community.
Residents can register to become a part of National Night Out by logging on to: http://pittsburghpa.gov/publicsafety/nno/. All registration information is sent to the police bureau where the department will assign police vehicles to visit each event.
"It's a great way to highlight everything that is done in the city of Pittsburgh to keep us all safe," Ms. Style said. "Including those people who don't live in the city, but come into the city to work."
A National Night Out kickoff party will be held on Tuesday, July 28 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Market Square and all public safety bureaus will be represented with a variety of vehicles including firetrucks, bomb squad units, animal control vans, and a mobile command center. The event will also have a variety of activities for kids.