3rd Annual CTAC All-neighborhood Block Party

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Public Safety Resources

Pittsburgh Police Blotter

The Pittsburgh Police Blotter is a great neighborhood resource available to citizens.  Click on this link http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/blotter/ to view Zone by Zone reports of arrests and police activity updated daily. 

 

Citizen Observer – Help the Pittsburgh Police fight crime by signing up for the Citizen Observer! The Citizen Observer allows law enforcement agencies to quickly enter content about crimes or incidents, and within seconds, push that info out to businesses, citizens, watch groups, and others that have signed up to receive the alerts.  Log on to www.citizenobserver.com and click on the “Sign Up for Alerts” link if you would like to receive Citizen Observer alerts.

The Side Yard Sale Program

If your house borders an overgrown, publicly owned, vacant lot, you no longer have to look out your window and cringe. The City of Pittsburgh in cooperation with City Source Associates is introducing a low-cost minimum way for you to buy that lot and make it your own.  If you own a property that directly borders a vacant lot then you may be eligible to purchase the property and transform it into a garden, parking pad, etc.  For more details visit: www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/finance/assets/sideyard_sale_program.pdf or call 412-255-2300.

CTAC’s Core Series Comes to South Pittsburgh

CTAC’s well-respected Core Series is coming to South Pittsburgh. 8 sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Seton Center in the months of May, June, July and September. To register, contact State Representative Chelsa Wagner’s office at 412-343-2094.*

About the Core Series:

CTAC’s Core Series of seminars sharpens the skills required to build and operate an effective community based-organization. These highly interactive programs are tailored to meet the needs of community based-organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Classes are open to both staff and board members.

The program is offered in the evening sessions starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m. Light Refreshments and break will be provided. The program will be held at the Seton Center, 1900 Pioneer Avenue, South Pittsburgh area (Brookline). The Center is easily accessible location and free parking.

The program will be delivered by experienced persons in Pittsburgh’s community development field, a group of highly skilled professionals form corporate, nonprofits and consulting circles.

Core Series Schedule:

05/14/08 – Leadership Skills

06/04/08 – Basic Board 1: Structure & By-laws

06/18/08 – Basic Board 2: Roles & Responsibilities

07/02/08 – Effective Meetings

07/09/08 – Communications Skills

— Summer Break —

09/03/08 – Strategic Plan

09/17/08 – Financial Systems

10/01/08 – Fundraising

About CTAC:

In today’s world of limited financial and human resources, there is never enough time or money for community-based organizations to accomplish their many operational and program goals. Professional guidance and assistance from The Community Technical Assistance Center (CTAC) can make a critical difference. CTAC is committed to building and strengthening effective community-based organizations through training and individualized consulting services.

As a non-profit corporation, our goals is to develop strong communities by providing technical assistance to neighborhood groups, tenant councils, merchants groups and community development corporations in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

* The South Pittsburgh Core Series is sponsored by State Representative Chelsa Wagner.

Dealing with Graffiti

At a recent South Pittsburgh Development Corporation meeting, Sarah Alessio of the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) shared useful information on how to deal with graffiti. PRC urges citizens and merchants to call 911 as soon as they’re property has been “tagged.” The police officers will file a report and take a photo of “tag.” The city has a Graffiti Task Force which puts the picture and the report into a database which will in turn connect criminals to multiple tags throughout the city. Upon filing a report, PRC asks that the graffiti is removed as soon as possible. If left on property, merchants/citizens can be fined, but most importantly, the less graffiti that is in your community, the less likely it will continue. Graffiti Busters can help with this process and can be reached at 412.255.2872.

Family Watchdog

Family Watchdog offers a website, www.familywatchdog.us, which posts the picture and addresses of sex offenders. Through this site, users can also be notified when offenders move into their neighborhood. Megan’s Law, also called the Sexual Offender Act of 1994, is a federal law requiring persons convicted of sex crime against children to notify local law enforcement of any change in address after release from prison. Megan’s Law requires law enforcement agencies to make sex offender information available to the public. Pennsylvania requires offender registration for certain crimes in addition to those against children. All crimes requiring offender registration in Pennsylvania can be found in 42 Pa.C.S.A. 9795.1. The registration laws for every state can be found on the Family Watchdog website.

Public Safety

Safe neighborhoods are a joint effort between citizens and police. Neighborhood residents are an important part of the process because they notify police when illegal activity occurs. It is important for neighbors to call 9-1-1 anytime that they suspect illegal activity. It is acceptable to call 9-1-1 even if it is not a life or death situation or other emergency.Police prefer to intervene before a situation gets out of hand; prevention is the best cure. Reporting illegal behavior to the police builds a history for a given person, address or area. The more calls the police receive regarding a given area, the more police attention that area is likely to get. Therefore, it is important to report everything. See something, say something.

It is common for people to feel uncomfortable calling the police on their neighbors. Often this is because of a fear of identification or retaliation. First of all, 9-1-1 calls can be anonymous if you choose. If you still prefer not to call, the City of Pittsburgh Police Bureau provides an online tip form, which can also be anonymous.

Collective neighborhood action is the most effective deterrent for crime. Residents have been known to organize their reporting efforts, establishing captains that distribute and collect tip forms from residents. This is a coordinated approach that demonstrates the aggregate need in the neighborhood for police protection.

Beyond organized reporting, active residents are the best protection. Neighbors keeping an eye on each other’s houses and children is a great security system. People sitting on their porches, with their eyes on the street, is a simple deterrent. Block watches are an organized form of this.

Another resource for active residents and groups concerned with public safety is Citizen Observer. This website makes local crime information accessible and connects citizens taking an active interest in crime prevention.