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Elizabeth mayor wants more police information made public

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 2:46 a.m.

Elizabeth Mayor Ann Malady wants to see more information from her police department made public.

She requested during the borough council meeting on Tuesday that the police department make weekly submissions to The Daily News' police blotter, and to expand the use of the Nixle alert system.

“At this point, I think our residents want to be kept apprised of what's going on in the borough,” Malady said. “I think our residents are looking for more specific reports.”

Blotter consists of the first and last name, age and listed municipality of an individual charged with a crime, and those offenses.

“I'm for it,” Officer-in-charge John Snelson said about submitting such reports. “Years ago we used to do it all the time.”

Snelson said he would like to work with the mayor and the newspaper to release more information. Some reports may not be immediately available because of ongoing investigations.

Nixle is a free community service meant to relay emergency alerts and traffic information, either through texts, emails or the www.nixle.com website.

Elizabeth police have used Nixle for nearly three years, sending out weather alerts and other related notifications.

Snelson cautioned expanding its use.

“It kind of depends on each unique situation,” Snelson said. “Some things you may not want to put out because you may not want to draw people to the incident.”

“God forbid there would be an emergency in the borough. It would be a very quick way for our residents to know there is an issue,” Malady said.

East McKeesport, McKeesport, Elizabeth Township, Port Vue, Clairton, White Oak and other local municipalities use Nixle.

Council hired Nicole MacNeil, Anthony Ricci and Kristina Mayenek as part-time officers with a one-year probationary period.

“Their backgrounds are highly defined. They have experience in every facet of law enforcement,” Malady said.

Ricci is a Marine veteran. MacNeil serves as an officer in Rankin and Mayenek worked as an officer in the nation's capital.

“They'll definitely help us out,” Snelson said. “We rely very heavily on part-time officers.”

Snelson is the only full-time officer in the 11-person department.

Borough officials thanked Forward Township police for the use of their vehicle while Elizabeth's cruiser received repairs earlier this year.

Councilors will meet with Elizabeth Borough Municipal Authority officials to discuss Ekin Avenue.

The authority is allegedly in violation of a street opening ordinance, which requires fees to be paid and a road to be restored to its original condition after excavation.

Councilors said the authority paved over the brick road once it completed a project sometime last month.

Councilman Paul Shaner said the paving was well done, while Councilwoman Devie Rollison said residents along the road want their brick road back.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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