South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Zone 3 safety council learns more about upcoming citywide meeting


In the absence of Zone 3 Commander Karen Dixon and its president, the Zone 3 Public Safety Council (Z3PSC) learned more about the upcoming citywide public safety meeting and questioned Councilman Bruce Kraus about recent offenses.

Vice-president Ron Rompala presided over the meeting in President Ken Wolfe’s absence.

Liz Style, public safety community outreach coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh, outlined how the citywide public safety meetings are organized. Held twice-yearly in April and October on the third Wednesday of the month, organizational duties belong to Zones 2, 5 and 5 in the spring and Zones 1, 3 and 6 in the fall.

The October meeting will have Zone 1 taking the lead with support from Zones 3 and 6. The citywide meeting will be at the Pittsburgh Project, 2801 N Charles St, Pittsburgh, PA 15214, on October 21. A social hour will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

To establish an agenda and timeline for the meeting, all the presidents of the Public Safety Councils, along with the zone commanders and one of their community resource officers will meet this week. In addition, preliminary plans will be discussed concerning this year’s Get Stuffed With Love free meal program on Thanksgiving Day.

The program has police officers delivering meals to anyone who needs one on Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers prepare the meals and assist in coordinating the event. Get Stuffed With Love began in Zone 3, spread into other zones and went citywide last year.

In updates, it was reported three of the houses in the Carrick Blitz were remedied before the blitz began. The other 39 houses were served violation papers by the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspection (formerly Building Inspection). At the time of the meeting, September 21, the property owners had 19 days to fix violations before the complaints would be taken to the local District Judge.

It was unclear whether the 42 properties in the Carrick Blitz included those the police were investigating.

Several people questioned the effectiveness of calling 311 for non-emergency problems in the city. Others wondered how long it would take to have problems corrected.

Councilman Kraus praised the 311 Response Center for handling the volume of calls they do. He explained the job of the employees in the center is not to handle the resolution of the complaint, but to direct it to the correct city department. Once received, the individual departments prioritize the complaints.

While some present praised 311 for its rapid response, others complained they haven’t been able to a pothole fixed after repeated calling over the last four months.

The councilman recommended people keep and forward to him the Service Request ID Number after calling the center. He explained his staff checks on the progress of complaints in the neighborhoods.

Live operators answer calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Response Center. In addition to dialing 3-1-1 during ours hours, people can call after hours and leave a message. It’s also possible to call 412-255-2621 from outside the city: Leave a voice or text message at 412-573-9736; Submit a complaint online at; or, submit a request by tweeting to @PGH311.

The 311 Response Center is under the Department of Innovation and performance.

Councilman Kraus also updated the group on several instances of shots being fired along: Near Cupples Stadium during a high school football game and in the 2100 block outside of a bar on East Carson Street.

No one was injured during the shooting at 9th and McArdle near the stadium where Westinghouse and University Prep were playing a game. The stadium was placed on lockdown while the police investigated.

The councilman said he would like to see a town hall type meeting that includes Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane, Zone 3 Commander Dixon and whoever else needs to be there to “nip this in the bud.”

The other shots fired incident happened after midnight outside of a bar in the 2100 block of East Carson the week before when someone in a car fired in the direction of the bar. An area resident and businesswoman said she heard the gunfire and there were as many as 12 shots fired during the exchange.

Mr. Kraus said the District Attorney was considering getting involved in determining if the bar is a nuisance bar. He said the DA has had great success in shutting down problem bars in South Side.

“We have to set a standard for the street,” Councilman Kraus said. “Change the customer, change the street.”

The councilman also announced a new Nighttime Economy Coordinator has been hired. He declined to reveal the name of the new coordinator.

Ms. Style also said the official Trick or Treat hours in the City of Pittsburgh would be Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The next Zone 3 Public Safety Council meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 16 at the Zone 3 Station, unless otherwise announced.


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