South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Changes at Zone 3, student complaints at Z3 safety forum


September 26, 2017

The Sept. 18 meeting of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council began with Officer Nathan Auvil reporting he is receiving complaints about students on South Side, for which he is working with Duquesne University.

City Councilman Bruce Kraus said his office has received complaints of rock music emanating from the South 18th St. residence of Duquesne University students.

The University of Pittsburgh embraced the Hospitality Initiative, he said, which he attributed to not having yet received any disruptive property calls this fall from Oakland.

Next, Zone 3 Commander Karen Dixon introduced two new neighborhood resource officers: Aundie Wright and Brian Shelton.

While Officer Wright is assigned to Carrick, and Officer Shelton to Allentown, both men may be contacted with problems and concerns about either neighborhood.

Commander Dixon said she wants the officers to get to know the people, businesses, and youngsters in their assigned areas, and to alert the other shifts to the trouble spots.

She also announced Officer Auvil has been promoted to “crime scene processor,” and will no longer be in the zone. Attendees expressed congratulations for the promotion, but agreed they would miss him.

An attendee reported a drug house off Arlington Ave. that was boarded up is open again.

“Anything vacant and abandoned they will go in,” he said of drug addicts.

An abandoned house on Rochelle St. is also being used for drugs as a “shooting gallery.”

Attendees also mentioned drug activity in houses on Walter and Amanda Streets. Mr. Kraus said he would report back on what the city can do regarding these properties.

A Mt. Washington man said he has heard shootings and about harassment at Grandview Park. He also reported an SUV with an Ohio license plate and flat tires has been parked for two years on Bailey Ave. He called 311 on it numerous times.

An attendee called 311 a “referral service.” The calls could have been referred to other departments that are understaffed.

Officer Shelton said if the SUV registration is bad, and from Ohio, it will take time to deal with. But he will check on the vehicle to get the process started.

Carrick residents complained about squatters setting fires behind an apartment building on Brownsville Rd. The attendees said squatters can be found all throughout the neighborhood.

In announcements, public safety council president Ken Wolfe said the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations was meeting in two days, but that a series of meetings was planned for the near future.

In introductions, Jeff Brown is the new community outreach specialist with the Dept. of Public Safety. He will stage press conferences, post social media information, attend the Zone 3 Public Safety Council meetings, and more.

Newcomer Matt Pelton was there to inform attendees of a faith-based, drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, the Adult and Teen Challenge of Western Pennsylvania. He is an intern who is soon to be staff, and lives on the Cheswick campus off Route 28. The program is for men only.

Mr. Pelton said the center offers a short-term, 30-day program. After that, a man has the option of enrolling in a live-in, 14-month program in Rehrersburg, Bucks County, a small town by Reading.

“I do believe long-term treatment is the answer,” Mr. Pelton said. The program uses the Twelve Steps for drug and alcohol addiction.

A colleague in attendance was drug and alcohol counselor Paul Paredes, who has been sober for three years. “The Adult and Teen Challenge works,” he said.

Mr. Kraus said as a recovering alcoholic he will be happy to help. “You have to want to be clean,” he said.

In announcements, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Clinics will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Sept. 27 and Sept. 30 at St. Catherine of Siena, 1810 Belasco Ave. Register by calling 412-343-3111.

Attendees should bring a copy of their previous DACA applications, work permit, and approval notice(s).

Immigration law attorneys will provide free legal consultations and services.


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