Monday, March 25, 2013

Keeping Sheraden Safe

Recently a few Sheraden residents went out of their way to connect with neighborhood leaders from across the city to discuss ways to improve community safety.

In 2008, PCRG’s members expressed a need for resources to help them keep their neighborhoods safe. Responding to this neighborhood priority, PCRG has initiated the Safe Neighborhoods Network. Recognizing that crime is an issue that plagues all communities, and that the larger the network grows the more effective it is, Safe Neighborhoods is a free program open to leaders from all areas of Pittsburgh.

The meetings are a great way to learn about some of the best practices being used by the community to reduce crime across the city.

Sheraden resident Greg Hancock recounts the March 9 Safe Neighborhoods event:

"The guest speaker that morning was Robert Conroy from CeaseFirePA. In attendance were leaders representing various neighborhoods. The discussion focused mainly on gun control, like getting all hand guns registered and also how to get automatic/assault weapons off the streets. Bob was a wealth of knowledge and ideas on how we could start a grassroots movement to change gun laws in PA.

We also talked about how easy it is for anyone to get a non-permitted gun from any of the Gun and Knife shows that happen periodically in Pittsburgh. I found it amazing that any person could go from booth to booth at these events, purchasing parts for a hand gun, and then go home and order a firing pin on-line. The result: yet another non-permitted weapon on the street and, by law, it is legal to posses! The conversation moved to what it would take to have all the vendors at these shows licensed and require that every gun part to be permitted so that they could be tracked.
 
Law abiding citizens, such as myself, have all guns registered and permitted with the state.

Finally, we discussed the Mayor's "Block Watch in a Box" campaign to help residents keep an eye on their surroundings. I am hoping to find 6-8 other people in Sheraden that would be willing to take 1 week a month and keep an eye on the neighborhood. The best way to deter crime is to have a visual presence in the neighborhood.

All-in-all the meeting was a very positive experience.

I felt that the meeting brought us closer as a community and gave hope to overcoming the many challenges neighborhoods face on a regular basis. I look forward to the next meeting to get more insight and support as we move forward."


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