Bullskin Township residents urged to be proactive, responsible
Representatives from Connellsville and Scottdale police departments addressed the Bullskin Township Neighborhood Watch on Feb. 26 about the importance of being proactive, but not going too far.
“Crime watches are very, very good,” said Jim Capitos, police chief for Connellsville.
He was joined by Dennis Elcock, assistant police chief for Scottdale.
Neither Connellsville nor Scottdale have an active neighborhood watch. Watches are not normally established in more urban areas or municipalities with 24-hour police departments, they said.
While the Neighborhood Watch covers Bullskin as well as some surrounding areas, and Pennsylvania State Police troopers are the responders, Capitos and Elcock said their respective departments can be dispatched to assist.
On the one-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting in Florida, the officers spoke about how that was an example of a very good idea of a neighborhood watch that got out of hand.
George Zimmerman, a member of a neighborhood watch group, faces charges in Martin's shooting. Zimmerman claims that Martin was acting suspiciously at the time of the incident.
Capitos and Elcock stressed that it's important to be proactive, but not go too far.
“You don't need to patrol the streets with baseball bats. You can be just as proactive with this,” Capitos said, showing his cellphone.
Capitos said one of the most important aspects of a neighborhood watch is knowing people in the neighborhood and knowing when something looks out of place.
“If you see a suspicious person or a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood, call the state police,” Capitos said.
Elcock said that even if something seems insignificant, it could be something that could help a police officer in an ongoing case.
Residents asked which crimes are most prevalent in Connellsville and Scottdale. Capitos and Elcock said that more than 90 percent of crimes are connected to drugs, especially the abuse of heroin and prescription pain medication.
“Most of our crimes are linked to this,” Elcock said. “These people will steal anything that's not bolted down.”
They added that those criminals often will target vehicles, walking up and down rows of vehicles along streets, testing each door handle, and when they find one that's not locked, they'll enter the vehicle and steal whatever they can and sell it for drug money.
Those attending the meeting were warned about con artists on the Internet and to not provide personal information to strangers or open emails from people they don't know — especially not email attachments.
“Nobody ever won $5 million for answering an email,” Elcock said.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or email@example.com.
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.
- Connellsville area’s weather into December could be mixed bag
- Leonard finishes season with Braves’ AAA affiliate
- Lynn: Vanderbilt church to sponsor rabies clinic
- Volunteer program circles around poverty problem in Connellsville
- Frazier School Board chews over possibilities for Central Elementary
- Sheetz expansion project given OK by city zoning board
- For some, Dunbar Community Fest is a ‘homecoming’
- War display planned during Dunbar Fest
- Evening of fun and games helps to fund foundation
- Blight ordinance passed by Connellsville City Council
- Bullskin election violations end in plea deal for 3