Updated: 5:34 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | Posted: 5:25 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Officials credit neighborhood watch groups in crime reduction
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced Wednesday that a new effort to crack down on neighborhood burglaries is going well.
Officials said the key to the success thus far has been, in part, due to neighborhood watch groups and surveillance cameras.
"We're seeing more arrests being made in the Carrick area, and when we have eyes out there 24/7 versus only when a police officer is there, it reduces crime," Harper said.
Harper said he and Ravenstahl praised Beechview neighborhood watch groups for helping to reduce crime by 25 percent.
"The reality is our police can't do it alone. A large part of our success over the past six years is because of the partnerships we've created with local community organizations and neighborhood groups," Ravenstahl said.
Phyllis Didianno, of the Beechview Citizens Council, said the group has helped clean up the main business district.
"I think the biggest impact we have is through our local commander. I think the relationship you can build with your commander really means a lot," Didianno said.
Officials said with 16 burglaries in the Bloomfield, Friendship and Lawrenceville areas in the past two weeks, neighbors were worried. Then, police arrested Tony Montomery, 27, who is accused in some of the crimes.
Authorities said if you don't have a police-organized crime watch group in your neighborhood, visit your local police station, and they'll help you get one started.