Block watch members learn more about starting new group from police, city officials
Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety and Zone 3 police officers urged Carrick residents to consider forming more block watch groups and provided instructions on how to do so at the Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting last Monday.
Zone 3 police officer Christine Luffey and Public Safety Community Outreach Coordinator Liz Style took turns discussing how block watches play a critical role in public safety in Carrick. The pair also provided literature on how residents can go about forming a block watch on their street.
Residents who wish to start a block watch can begin by contacting neighbors, creating a list of interested participants with contact information, naming a block watch captain, and sharing the contact information with Carol Anthony, chair of the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch.
Officer Luffey said she will personally attend the first meeting for newly created block watch groups so she can speak to new participants and answer questions. Block watch captains can request her attendance by calling the Zone 3 police station.
“I want you to get organized, stay vigilant, and stay safe,” Officer Luffey said. “Because again, this is your community.”
Ms. Style said the city can distribute block watch signs that can be placed in windows or on posts. She said block watch signs on posts should be placed strategically in a variety of areas on the street.
“You want to be sure those signs are put in a place where people are going to see them,” Ms. Style said.
Ms. Style said sharing contact information within a block watch and with other community residents is an important part of public safety. She also provided specific examples of incidents where crime was prevented by effective block watch communication.
Several additional announcements were also made at the meeting. Trish Hatfield, board president of the Carrick Community Council, announced a meeting will be held to discuss proposed renovations to the Carrick Library.
Ms. Hatfield said new plans have been developed, but residents have not yet provided input about the proposed changes. The Carnegie Library board will present the renovation plans and residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback at the upcoming meeting.
“We need to voice our opinions on what we want to see happen,” Ms Hatfield said. “How much room we want. Is parking important? What are the important things to you about what they’re going to do to renovate the library?”
The meeting will be held at the Carrick Library on January 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Ms. Style also talked about the city’s Snow Angels program. The program enables elderly and disabled residents to sign-up for snow removal services that are provided by volunteers in the community. Residents can sign-up to receive services or volunteer by visiting http://alleghenysnowangels.org.
Officer Luffey also provided her monthly crime report. This month’s report included a domestic dispute, two burglaries, and a gunfire exchange that occurred in the Uni-Mart parking lot.
“We have to be the eyes and ears of our community,” Officer Luffey said. “And we have to look out for our neighbors.”
The next Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting will be February 1 at 7 p.m. in the Concord K5 Auditorium. For more information about the Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch visit http://www.carrickpa.com/.