The positives of patrolling
Kudos to reporter Dave Conti and the Trib for drawing attention to a critical issue of community safety with an article on block watch programs ("The waning watchers," Aug. 29).
However, his article seemed to focus on the demise of volunteer efforts. He fell short in highlighting the positive aspects of the Squirrel Hill Citizen's Patrol and although we do have volunteer turnover and are always looking for more, the patrol is nearing its tenth year of continuous operation.
During that time, and working with the Pittsburgh police, the patrol has helped clear the Squirrel Hill business district of the encroaching gangs, stopped the drag racing on area streets, reduced the drug traffic in area parks, reduced assaults on pedestrians and reported random fires, break-ins, dangerous potholes and street light issues.
Yes, it's always hard to get people to take time out of their busy day to give something back to their neighborhood. But the real story is in those who realize the importance of the patrol and volunteer -- and to showcase their accomplishments and encourage others to do the same. Those interested in volunteering can call 412-422-7666.
The writer is director of the Squirrel Hill Citizen's Patrol.