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Latrobe council eyes neighborhood watch program

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 5:47 p.m.

Latrobe City Council plans to consider a measure to reinstate a neighborhood watch program after working with police Chief Jim Bumar and Councilwoman Julie Bisi.

The program, planned for a vote on Monday, will not require time or funding from the police department, except for early organization and training meetings, Bumar said.

Residents will be needed to volunteer as block captains to lead the program, he said.

“It's the community's project; the community will run it,” Bumar said.

Attempts have been made to sustain a similar program, but they faltered as interest waned, Councilman Mike Skapura said.

Skapura said he met with representatives from Pennsylvania Downtown Center, a nonprofit focused on revitalization of communities and their central business districts, and discussed funding to keep the program successful.

“They are working with several communities in Pennsylvania to assist them with programs just like this,” he said, encouraging cooperation between the police, city officials and residents.

The nonprofit lauded community-based programs such as a neighborhood watch and relayed information about offering financial assistance through grants, Skapura said.

In other business, Mayor Rosie Wolford reviewed council members' positions on each of the newly formed committees: Gerry Baldonieri and Madalyn Smith, public works; Smith and Skapura, finance; Fabian Giovannagelo and Bisi, public safety; Trisha Caldwell-Cravener and Gerry Baldonieri, community development; and Caldwell-Cravener and Skapura, personnel.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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