South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Personnel changes at Zone 3 highlighted in block watch meeting


Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch members were informed of several personnel changes within the Zone 3 police that occurred this month.

Zone 3 Police Commander Karen Dixon opened the July block watch meeting with an overview of the current state of Zone 3 and announced several promotions and transfers within the department.

According to Commander Dixon, Zone 3 police will benefit from the addition of three sergeants. Sergeant Charles Henderson, who previously served in Zone 6, has 23 years of experience within the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and 10 years of experience as a sergeant.

Newly promoted sergeant Tracy Clinton previously served on the Sexual Assault and Family Crisis Unit of the Major Crimes department of the Pittsburgh Police department. She has more than 15 years of experience with the bureau.

Sergeant Matthew Redpath, who was also promoted this month, will transfer from Zone 2. He has over 22 years of experience within the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Additionally, five new officers started on July 3. Officer Keith Dixon, Officer Craig Szablewski, Officer Bryan Gray, Officer Jarrell Jones, and Officer Anthony Guerra all joined the Zone 3 police earlier this month.

Amidst the new additions, the zone lost night shift sergeant David Meade, who was promoted to lieutenant in Zone 2. Sergeant Tim Novosel will also leave Zone 3 for a position at the bureau’s training academy.

“You’ve got some great officers in the zone,” Commander Dixon said. “I can’t say enough about the work I’ve seen come out of them.”

Commander Dixon also said while the zone is experiencing a higher-than-average amount of criminal activity, residents should have noticed an increase in patrols over the last several weeks.

“We’ve seen some really unusual activity the last four weeks or so,” the commander said. “The good news is: on the nights it seems to be really crazy, they’re making a phenomenal amount of arrests.”

Following Commander Dixon’s update, Zone 3 police officer Christine Luffey raised awareness around some of last month’s notable crime incidents.

The Burger King in the 2900 block of Brownsville Road was robbed on June 13 at 6:06 a.m. Two men entered the store with a black pistol and ordered an employee to open the safe. The suspects stole between $500 and $600.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken in the 1100 block of Brownsville Road was robbed on June 25 at 9:06 p.m. Three men entered the store with guns drawn and took $350 from the register.

Commander Dixon said the two incidents might be related and are possibly connected with robberies in other areas of the city.

Officer Luffey also said three cell phone thefts occurred in Carrick between June 10 and June 21.

At 9:10 p.m., police were called to the 2400 block of Brownsville Road for a robbery in progress. A mother reported her nine-year-old son’s iPhone was stolen. The boy provided police with a description of suspects and police identified the thief as another nine-year-old boy. The case was referred to Children, Youth and Families (CYF).

A police officer responded to another robbery call in the 2100 block of Brownsville Road at 1:45 p.m. The officer was met by a 36-year-old-male who reported an African American male, approximately 4’10” and wearing a red t-shirt, stole an iPhone out of his hand.

A 70-year-old female victim also reported a cell phone theft while walking in the 100 block of Birmingham Avenue on June 21 at 8:30 p.m.

Officer Luffey reported two drug-related arrests. One occurred on June 17 at 1:16 p.m. when a vehicle crashed into a curb in the 100 block of Rovilla Avenue. Officers found heroin stamp bags in the passenger seat of the car. The suspect was charged with possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence of drugs.

A 32-year-old woman was arrested when a boy called police about an unresponsive person in a home near the intersection of Brownsville Road and Madeline Street on June 23 at 12:52 p.m. The women was found unconscious next to multiple bundles of heroin.

“As you know, the warmer weather brings out the crime,” Officer Luffey said. “Please know we’re doing our best to make Carrick and all the communities in Pittsburgh a better place to live.”

In addition to the police updates, Carrick / Overbrook block watch leader Carol Anthony announced an event called “The Communities Against Crime” will be on Tuesday, July 26. Representatives from Pittsburgh police, fire, and EMS departments will be on site to answer questions and provide information. A sheriff’s deputy will also be available to fingerprint children.

The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dairy District located at 1529 Brownsville Road.

The next Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. The August meeting will be held in the basement of Saint Basil Catholic Church on Brownsville Road.


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