Kittanning police chief to host crime-watch dinner
By Diane Orris Acerni
Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
KITTANNING — Police Chief Bruce Mathews invites all borough seniors to join him for a free spaghetti dinner this Saturday. Mathews and other members of the force will be on hand at the Church of God, 629 Woodward Ave., at 6 p.m. to help serve the main dish.
Although Mathews is the organizer of the event, he is quick to assure residents that he is not the chef.
“I won't be cooking the spaghetti,” he said, “and Chef Boyardee won't be there, either.”
While spaghetti (courtesy of Villa Rosa Restaurant ) may be the main dish, the main idea behind the pasta is partnering — police partnering with residents. Mathews is eager to get a clearer picture of the community's needs.
“The community sets the standard for normal behavior, for what's acceptable,” the chief said. “So we definitely want their input.”
Joie Pryde, 2nd Ward council member, said, “It's about neighbors helping neighbors.”
Mathews and other borough officers will be attending to listen to, talk with and answer questions from the diners.
“We want to develop the best rapport with them,” he said. “We need to have good communication with residents in order to protect them the best way that we can.”
The police force is comprised of seven full-time officers and several part-time staff, so communication within law enforcement is crucial.
“Since all of the department rotate shifts, the one common denominator is me,” Mathews said. “I want residents to know that I want to hear from them.”
Kittanning's Crime Watch has been the means for many local residents to support safety measures where they live. Two meetings have been held under Mathew's direction.
“We're not looking to change,” he said. “We just want to have the clearest idea of what the group thinks will work best.”
One point that Mathews would like to address with the Crime Watch group is the method used by residents to report their concerns.
“I don't want anyone to hesitate to call 911 to report suspicious activity,” he said.
The particulars of the process will be revisited by the group in order to ensure the protection of those who make such reports.
Mathews sees the complexities of crime fighting and appreciates the need for such community involvement.
“We live in such a mobile society,” he said. “Fifteen or 20 years ago, when a crime was committed, it was much easier to build a case because you probably knew those involved. That's not the case today.”
Councilwoman Pryde agrees.
“Community crime watchers can be another set of eyes and ears for law enforcement.”
Mathews strongly encourages residents to get involved by bringing theirs ideas, concerns and especially their appetites to the free spaghetti dinner. Wallets may be left at home. But tips — crime tips — will be gladly accepted.
Diane Orris Acerni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Neighbors say bright, flashing sign in West Kittanning interferes with sleep
- Neighbors say bright, flashing sign interferes with sleep
- Woman dies in Kittanning house fire
- Fish frying for Lent begins in Armstrong
- West Kittanning to revisit zoning