South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Details of changes at Zone 3 council detailed at Arlington CC April meeting


Last updated 4/17/2019 at 8:41pm

“We’re doing things a little different,” Liz Style told members of the Arlington Civic Council last week.

Ms. Style, president of the Zone 3 Public Safety Committee, explained the safety council has established an official database of interested residents, elected new officers and are planning to meet nine or ten times a year. The council doesn’t meet in April and October when there are city-wide public safety council meetings.

Additionally, the Zone 3 council is making more use of its Facebook page, posting meeting notices, agendas and updates along with organizational minutes.

Members of the safety council also want to do a project each year. This year, they’ve started working on a website and expect it to “go live” with a city public safety website in the near future.

Ms. Style also explained the Zone 3 council is putting together a “good old fashion picnic with the police” at the Arlington Spray Park at The Fort. The all-free event is planned for June 29 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and will include lunch.

In addition to having police officers there to interact with community members, the council is working with Citiparks to have programming for youth and planning to have games on the ballfield.

“We want to bring people and the police together in an environment they aren’t used to,” Ms. Style said.

Volunteers are needed to help with sign-ups and to solicit donations for the picnic she said while passing around a contact sheet.

“There will be no exchange of money (at the picnic),” Ms. Style emphasized. “Everything is free.”

With the City-Wide Public Safety Meeting in April, the next Zone 3 Safety Council meeting will take place in May. The May meeting will feature information on how to put together a National Night Out event.

Keeping with the public safety theme of the evening, Zone 3 officer Christine Luffey addressed the Arlington council members on neighborhood crime in the first quarter of the year.

After going over the statistics for the first three months of 2019, Officer Luffey told them, “I believe that crime is pretty low” in the neighborhood. She then explained some of the more serious crimes reported.

On the afternoon of January 3, a man had dropped off a friend in the 1900 block of Wade Street when he was approached by two males. One of the males pointed a gun at the man and demanded the keys to his car.

He did the right thing when there’s a gun pointed at you, he gave them the keys, Officer Luffey said. But that didn’t stop one of the males from telling the other one, “shoot him,” according to the police report. Fortunately, the shot missed the victim.

The vehicle was later recovered and the police received information the suspects were 18 and 15-year-old teens.

“These juveniles have been involved in this in the past,” Officer Luffey said. However, the victim decided not to cooperate and the youth weren’t charged.

The early morning hours of January 12 saw an incident that involved undercover detectives and the ShotSpotter system.

Officer Luffey said police get a report within 40-45 seconds of ShotSpotter detecting when a gun is fired with an accurate location. She added that all police officers not already on a call head for the identified location.

At 3 a.m. on January 12, ShotSpotter detected gunfire in the 3100 block of Cordel Place. While the gun shots were being investigated, the detectives arrested two men after finding them with 25 bags of heroin, marijuana, firearms, $270 in cash and three cell phones.

The same detectives pulled over a car with tinted windows and a broken tail light on the evening of February 21. When they approached the car, an odor of marijuana was detected and the driver refused to put the window down.

Officer Luffey said when the driver eventually lowered the window, the detectives recognized the man. He and his passenger were arrested when the detectives found 24 bags of heroin, crack cocaine, $297 in cash and several cell phones.

“Detectives spend a lot of time in this area and are doing really good work,” she said.


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