South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

New Zone 3 commander has roots in South Pittsburgh area neighborhoods


Last updated 2/12/2021 at 1:16pm

Pittsburgh Public Safety Department

John Fisher is the new Zone 3 Police commander. He took over command of the station in Allentown on February 8 from retiring commander Karen Dixon.

The new Zone 3 Police commander, John Fisher, took over command of the zone on Monday, Feb. 8, replacing retiring commander, Karen Dixon. Commander Dixon had led Zone 3 since the summer of 2015.

A police officer for 35 years, Commander Fisher has served with the Pittsburgh Police for 34 of those years. He began his career in Mt. Oliver, serving on the Mt. Oliver Police Department for one year before moving to the city. It was a natural fit for him having been raised in the Baldwin, Brentwood and Carrick areas.

The veteran officer has served in all the operational divisions of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. He has experience in investigations, narcotics and vice and ran the Weed & Seed Program. Additionally, he has been an instructor at the Training Academy and worked in the Office of Municipal Investigations and Professional Standards.

He was promoted to commander two years ago.

The new Zone 3 commander has a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice and is an adjunct professor at Allegheny County Community College.

Commander Fisher said he accomplished what he had wanted to do and wanted to get back to a zone station. He asked to be stationed in the South Hills or West End station, Zone 3 or Zone 6.

"It was an opportunity to mentor and mold these young officers to be the kind of officers we want them to be," he said.

Saying the 15 neighborhoods in Zone 3 are "unique in their own ways," Commander Fisher sees opportunities to make inroads in the communities. One of the best ways is through the community groups.

"They know the pulse of the community," he said. "They know the problem areas."

However, he added that neighborhood residents also have to know the capabilities of the police, in addition to their limitations.

"Sometimes the problems are beyond the capabilities of the police," he said adding if it's not a situation the police are able to handle, (police) have to know where to go to for help.

Acknowledging the problems in the Zone 3 neighborhoods are as diverse as their residents, Commander Fisher says he is prepared to look at crime in those communities and address it in each neighborhood.

"They want a sense of tranquility in their neighborhoods," the commander said. He plans to address quality of life issues, as they relate to the police department.

"None of this is unique to me," he added saying they were able to make a lot of inroads in the communities with the Weed & Seed programs.

One of the things for him to be successful in his latest post, he says, is getting the community to stand on its own and take charge of their neighborhoods.


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