South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Carrick crime watch updated on events happening in the community


A flurry of minor community updates along with a holiday celebration highlighted this month’s Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting in the Concord K5 cafeteria.

The Carrick / Overbrook block watch hosted a holiday party during this month’s meeting. Residents came together to enjoy dinner, dessert, and a variety of door prizes and also to celebrate the work the block watch has done throughout the year.

After dinner, Zone 3 police officer Christine Luffey, along with her daughter, opened the meeting by announcing the pair would be collecting coats, blankets, and gloves, and donating them to homeless individuals throughout the city on the morning of Christmas Eve. Donations are being collected at the Zone 3 police station.

Officer Luffey announced the “Get Stuffed with Love” program was very successful this year and provided 2,630 free Thanksgiving meals to individuals in the Pittsburgh area. 1,097 of those meals were served in Zone 3.

“Coming to these meetings helps because the word got out,” Officer Luffey said. “People took advantage of it and they were very very grateful.”

Officer Luffey also gave her monthly crime report in which she discussed, in detail, three robberies, one assault, and one homicide that occurred since the last crime watch meeting in November.

She also said some residents have been receiving calls from an IRS impersonator. She warned residents not to give personal information to the caller and that all real IRS correspondence happens through the mail.

City of Pittsburgh Public Safety Community Outreach Coordinator Liz Style announced a new program that will bring police and fire training to Westinghouse High School in Homewood in September of 2016.

The garages at Westinghouse High School that were once intended for an auto body repair program will allow adequate training space and storage for equipment and firetrucks.

Students from other Pittsburgh-area schools who wish to participate will be permitted to take academic classes for half of a day and travel to Westinghouse High School for the police or fire training.

Next to speak was Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, who announced she, along with several other members of city council, are looking to improve early childhood education in Pittsburgh by hiring an early childhood manager to focus on raising funds to provide affordable, high-quality preschool to all kids under the age of five.

According to Councilwoman Rudiak, kids who receive an early high-quality education are 70 percent less likely to commit violent crime.

“What’s very frustrating is a lot of times by the time people are committing violent crimes or are using intravenous drugs, in many ways we’ve already lost them,” the councilwoman said. “In many ways, it’s already too late and we’re trying to move crime from place to place instead of getting at the root and solving the problem.”

Carrick Community Council (CCC) board president Trish Hatfield also announced the CCC had elected five new board members at its last meeting and said that several of the board members were in attendance.

“We want to wish you a happy holiday and a great new year,” Ms. Hatfield said. “We look forward to working together and making things better in Carrick next year.”

The next Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting will be on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Concord K5 auditorium.


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