Officer Michael J. Thomas - Coordinator
Officer Joseph Shurina
Detective Brian Kohlhepp
Officer Albert Elway
Officer Joseph Serowik
Officer Jason Syska
Officer Donald Sypolt
Officer Gregory Garcia
Officer Sean Stafiej
Officer Dean Chiaramonte
Neighborhood watch also known as block watch has evolved greatly in the past 35 years. In the early years before current technology was available, Officers had to hold frequent community meetings in the homes of the Crime Watch Captains to discuss criminal activity and crime trends. Other forms of communication such as the telephone and if the matter was urgent, a telephone chain were used to get the message out. Today messages can and are delivered instantly to thousands of Crime Watch members at the same time by e-mail. Although we still feel it is necessary to meet face to face at a meeting occasionally, the need to meet frequently has been eliminated. The purpose of the neighborhood crime watch has not changed. Crime Watch is not watching crime! It is neighbor looking after neighbor and calling 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity. Most crime starts with suspicious activity. Our residents are the heartbeat of their respective neighborhoods. They know what is going on, who belongs and who does not. An Officer driving through the area might not recognize the situation to be suspicious. Crime Watch members are the eyes and ears of the Police, and they can and do stop crime. Officers will attend and address meetings of concerned citizens to help establish a Crime Watch / Block Watch program in your neighborhood on request.
Community Crime Watch meetings are held bi-monthly in the Community Center. Topics will vary depending on the season or current crime trends.
Officers are always available to speak to groups regarding personal safety. We all know too well that violent crimes of persons can happen at any time to anyone. These talks are designed to keep you from becoming a victim, and what to do if confronted in a criminal situation.
When requested by the administration or classroom teachers Ross Officers do presentations that are on topic. This is available to grades K-12. In 2002 Officer Michael J. Thomas developed a program related to juvenile law, drugs and alcohol, DUI, as well self esteem issues and the reason youth begin to use substances. This program was well received by the North Hills School District and St. Sebastian Schools. The program is delivered to all eighth grade students in the public and parochial schools. This program continues today.
On request Officers enter the pre-school classrooms to teach basic safety to our youngest children, this includes stranger danger, calling 9-1-1, seatbelt usage, firearm safety, and check first. We touch briefly on fire dangers.
Upon request a Special Programs Officer is available to address or meet with senior citizen groups. It is a known fact that criminals often attempt to exploit our senior citizens. The programs are designed to make the seniors aware of the methods used to scam them, as well as personal safety.
Throughout the year Officers conduct child identification by fingerprinting children at community events, in shopping malls and other large gatherings. The fingerprints are placed on a card that contains other vital information. The parent keeps the card and in the event the unspeakable happens, information needed to locate or identify a child is readily available. Children can be fingerprinted individually at the Police Station by appointment.
Upon request and by appointment an Officer will speak to groups on age appropriate topics related to safety and law. Following the talk a tour is conducted of the Police Station and all are permitted to see the inside of a Police car.
Members of the Special Programs Division who are assigned to the bicycle patrol are on duty during large community events such as the July 4th celebration and community day. They are also on duty on peak shopping days such as black Friday. When staffing permits, we attempt to use this patrol for block parties and other neighborhood community events. If a neighborhood is experiencing concentrated criminal activity the bicycles will be deployed with the thought being they can see more than an Officer in a marked Police car, and can be more effective as the criminal might not recognize them as Police Officers.
A self defense class will be held at least one time per year. This class will include a personal safety discussion followed by basic defensive techniques with plenty of time for practice. A question and answer session is part of this training. The class is taught by Mr. Hank Hanasik of Team AMS and has been very well received.
In 2011 Officers will conduct a bike rodeo and safety event at the Municipal Center. Participants helmets and equipment, as well as the bicycle will be inspected free of charge to be sure it is safe. The riders will traverse a challenging course and at the end will be given a certificate. If this is well received it too will become an annual event.
To request an Officer for an event, make an appointment or if there are any questions we can help you with, please contact Officer M.J. Thomas.
Phone: 412-931-9070 Ext. 128