Share This Page

Donations help Connellsville police replace crime-fighting equipment

| Monday, May 27, 2013, 4:57 p.m.
Submitted
Yough River Trail Council made a donation to the Connellsville Police Department toward the purchase of new mobile computers for its patrol cars. Connellsville Police Chief Jim Capitos accepts the donation from YRTC President Ted Kovall. The donation was in appreciation for all the work the Connellsville police do for the trail council and for their monitoring Yough Park and the YRTC areas. The YRTC hopes other organizations in the city step forward to help with this project. The police need to replace all the computers in the patrol cars due to age and disrepair.

Donations from two local organizations are helping the Connellsville Police Department replace crime-fighting equipment.

“It's a little gesture of goodwill,” said Ted Kovall, president of the Yough River Trail Council and member of the Connellsville Lions Club.

Connellsville Police Chief James Capitos spoke at a recent Lions Club event, which spurred a $500 donation to the police department to help replace the onboard computers in their police vehicles. Kovall then approached the trail council about the donation, saying it costs about $1,000 to replace one computer, so the group presented a check for $1,000 to the department in April.

“I thank them for what they did,” Capitos said of the Lions and trail council. “We're extremely thankful for it.”

The onboard computers, also known as mobile data terminals, were old and in such bad shape that Capitos said they were calling technicians from their service providers in Pittsburgh to fix the system. Capitos said three police vehicles are equipped with the terminals and one was replaced after enough money was received.

The terminals enable officers to check on vehicles and people so they need not bother 911 to see whether there's a warrant out on an individual or if a vehicle has been reported stolen. Capitos said not calling 911 keeps traffic down on the radio system.

The terminals can tap into the surveillance cameras in East Park, Yough Park and Stewart's Crossing behind Martin's plaza. A police officer can move and zoom the cameras, as well as watch footage in real time and in recorded images.

“The computers in the cars are a godsend,” Capitos said, adding that they solved a crime by accessing the surveillance cameras with the computers. “Everything is right at your fingertips.”

Kovall said the trail council has provided donations to organizations such as the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce and the New Haven Hose Company Volunteer Fire Department whenever it can by scraping together donations and grant money.

“The police are always out there for us,” Kovall said, “and they can't raise money like we can.”

Kovall said not only do the police monitor the campground along the bike trail and keep tabs on the surveillance, they lock up the renovated red caboose at night while on their patrol.

Capitos said he plans on replacing the remaining two computers and will need $1,500 to do so.

Kovall said he hopes the donations made by the Lions Club and the Yough River Trail Council will spur other organizations to make a donation so the police department can reach the $1,500 goal.

“We appreciate everything the police and firefighters do for us,” Kovall said, “and people take them for granted. They do a heck of a job.”

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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.