Observatory Hill

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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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Safety

What YOU can do to make our community safe:  

1.  If there is a "non-emergency," please call the Mayor's hotline at 311, or you can submit via online a 311 Response Form.  You can submit a request anonymously, but please be as detailed as possible.  

A non-emergency is defined as anything that is not an immediate crisis.  Some examples are illegal dumping, truancy, low-level drug occurrences that are not happening at that moment (if you see something happening, call 911), properties not being taken care of, absentee landlords with irresponsible tenants, sewer lines that repeatedly back up, streets in the winter time that are not plowed within 24-48 hours, and trees that have fallen down on public property (call 911 if the tree is blocking a public road or power line).

2.  If there is an "Emergency:"  Call 911 immediately.  An emergency is a situation where your life or someone else's is in eminent danger, or where a crime is in progress.  If you are not sure if the situation is an emergency, call anyway.  

3.  We recently held a Public Safety Meeting and several issues were addressed.  

In regards to loitering and curfew laws, there are no city ordinances in existence right now.  However, if large crowds are gathering and neighbors are being disturbed, it is okay to call 911 and ask for a patrol car to drive by the area at that time they are gathering.  Please be specific as to where and when.  If it is after the fact, please call 311 and again, please be specific as to where and when they are gathering so the police can respond to your request.  

Also know that the police are working in several capacities, undercover, uniform, and with school police in our neighborhood.  However, you have to do your part and report anything missing or any disturbances.  A pot on your porch broken or missing, broken windows, accosted by a group, whatever.  It aides in their data gathering.  Be specific--time, date, who, what, where, description, whatever you can give.  

In regards to nuisance properties; we are creating a committee that will review nuisance properties.  This committee will nominate a representative who will then work directly with the Pittsburgh Public Safety Board to address these properties (and additional public safety issues facing our neighborhood), and help us come up with solutions.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please e-mail us at ohipgh@gmail.com. Unmaintained properties such as high weeds or grass, unleashed pets, drugs, etc. are some common issues with nuisance properties. 

4.  Through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awarded by Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris' Office, Observatory Hill Inc. was the recipient of two community security cameras.  One will be housed in the 3900 block of Perrysville Avenue and the other we are still trying to locate a home for.  Because of the nature of the grant, we must partner with a non-city entity that adheres to the qualifications of the grant.  If you are a private business owner with access to high speed internet and are interested in this possible volunteer opportunity for the safety of you and your community, please feel free to contact us at ohipgh@gmail.com.

5.  Finally, as a community, being vigilant is extremely important and it all starts with YOU.  Some of the best Block Watches can invest such little time with the technology we have today.  All it takes is a phone or an e-mail distribution list.  Some of our neighbors even have created Facebook pages for neighborhood streets. It can be as little as two people or as many as fifty, but it has to start with YOU.  

If you are interested in starting a block watch on your street, or if you would like to join our e-mail distribution list to keep informed about what is going on in our neighborhood, please contact OHI at 
412.736.2489 or e-mail us at ohipgh@gmail.com.  We can get you started.

Also, if you are interested in viewing Pittsburgh Crime Statistics, please visit their website.  It is important to note that Observatory Hill is not separated out from the North Side as an individual neighborhood.  On the whole, in the past 15 months, crime has decreased on the North Side and in the city overall and it is with such partnerships with the PSB, CDBG awards, and Block Watches that these statistics continue to decline.