TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

McGruff ready to take bite out of crime in Connellsville

Submitted
McGruff the Crime Dog and Trooper Stefani A. Plume, Pennsylvania State Police community service officer, attend the Connellsville Crime Watch meeting on Wednesday.

About Cindy Ekas
Cindy Ekas 724-628-2000
Freelance Reporter
Daily Courier

Daily Photo Galleries


By Cindy Ekas

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

McGruff is ready to take a bite out of crime in Connellsville.

The crime-fighting dog dressed in a raincoat was introduced to city residents at the crime watch meeting Wednesday night at the Culver Karate Club on Pittsburgh Street.

Michael Edwards of the Fayette County Cultural Trust said the nonprofit organization recently received a $2,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.

The money was earmarked to purchase the McGruff costume and to begin outreach in the community to make residents and children aware of how important it is to take a bite out of crime, Edwards said.

Dan Cocks, who was wearing the McGruff costume, introduced guest speaker Trooper Stefani A. Plume, the community service and public information officer for the state police.

Plume stressed the importance of people taking steps to make their homes safe as a way to crack down on crime.

“My job is to visit community centers and businesses to make people aware of how important home and personal safety is,” Plume said. “A lot of people are now victims of identity theft, and we like to make people aware of what can happen because of computers and the Internet.”

Although most people believe that most crimes take place at night, Plume said statistics actually indicate that 95 percent of crimes take place during the day when people are at work.

“Criminals want to break into peoples' homes when they aren't there,” Plume said. “We always tell people to keep their doors and windows locked and keep a television or radio playing. If someone approaches your home and hears noise, they probably won't try to break in.”

Plume said criminals are also discouraged by barking dogs or a security system sign placed in a yard even if someone does not actually have a security system.

“Just the security system sign alone has been shown to discourage crime,” she said. “It's also a good idea to leave random lights on in your home so it looks like someone is there.”

In the city of Connellsville during October, Cocks said police answered 338 calls, which represented a decrease from 393 calls in September.

“That amounts to more than 10 calls a day,” Cocks said. “The Connellsville Police have been very busy.”

In October, Cocks said reported incidents included five burglaries, 12 criminal mischiefs, 24 domestic disputes, 12 drug offenses, seven public intoxication incidents and many other crimes.

Lori Culver, owner of Culver's Karate Studio, asked Plume why the state police respond to some crimes in Connellsville.

“Does the crime have to be really bad for the state police to come?” Culver asked.

Plume said the state police will respond to a crime in a city such as Connellsville, Uniontown or Masontown that has its own police force when they are called or hear a 911 call and offer their assistance.

“Anytime your local police department needs assistance they just need to call us and we will respond to help them out,” she said.

The crime watch meeting for December has been canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for January.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Fayette

  1. Masontown girl pulls off heroic task at state farm show
  2. Cause of Republic blaze under investigation
  3. Connellsville community center enjoying rebirth
  4. UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
  5. Connellsville Township supervisors recognize city police officers
  6. ‘Going downtown’ with dad, mom in ’50s among Connellsville native’s treasured memories
  7. Knife incident on bus gives Connellsville Area School District pause
  8. Fayette County courtroom locked for case involving Newell attorney
  9. Dawson mayor, CSX aim to repair railroad crossing at intersection
  10. South Connellsville accepts police chief’s resignation
  11. Mulch pitched for Vanderbilt park’s playground; surface proposed under swings, slide, climbing bars
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.