Over the last few weeks, several incidents of gun violence have occurred, most recently and shockingly the shooting at the basketball courts near the former Kindred hospital. On behalf of the Allegheny City Central Association board, I would like to express our deep sadness that these events have occurred, and our wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for those affected by Tuesday night’s terrible incident.
Additionally, during Tuesday night’s mayhem, the Northside Youth Athletic Association, which oversees all football and cheer activities in the park, had $900 worth of registration fees stolen. This money funds coaches, equipment, and mentoring for many Northside children. It would be a great statement of community solidarity if we were to support their existing GoFundMe campaign to at least replenish the funds lost by the time they resume practice on July 5th. The link to their campaign can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/NorthSide-Steelers.
ACCA has been in touch with Zone 1 throughout this difficult period, and Commander Bickerstaff attended our last meeting on June 13th. During the course of the meeting, she outlined the police response to gunfire, and also announced the introduction of ShotSpotter technology throughout the entire Northside. This technology, currently in use in parts of the East End, allows the police to immediately pinpoint the location of any gunfire, and have units on the scene quickly. The locations where the technology is in use have seen dramatic increases in the rates of case clearance. This technology is scheduled to be installed and operational by next summer.
Commander Bickerstaff also passed along informational flyers on how to best assist the police and report crimes, which we have included below this statement. Residents are encouraged to always call 911 when they hear gunfire, and not to assume that someone else has already called it in.
ACCA is pursuing the expansion of its existing camera program through the use of grant money and allocations from both council members Daniel Lavelle and Darlene Harris. We will work with Zone 1 to identify locations for cameras that can potentially reduce traffic and crime.
Finally, we need your help. There are many small things we can do to reduce violence, from leaving your outdoor lights on at night, to taking walks in the park and neighborhood. The more we are out creating a vibrant, watchful, and supportive community, the less areas are available for criminal activities. Each of us can take an active role in ensuring that incidents like Tuesday evening’s do not happen again.
Again, our thoughts are with the victims of Tuesday night’s tragedy, and we say to all: Stay Safe!
Andrew Wickesberg, ACCA President
Zone 1 Flyers
No More Drive-By Shootings – Community/Police Response
Don’t Be a Victim: Prevent Theft from Vehicles
ShotSpotter: Precision-Based, Community-Focused Policing