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Ross Township Police Department

Ross Township Police Department


Chief Robert Bellan

1000 Ross Municipal Dr. Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Phone: (412)931-9070

Fax: (412)931-7065


Special Programs


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

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

Community Crime Watch meetings are held bi-monthly in the Community Center. Topics will vary depending on the season or current crime trends.


Personal safety programs

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.


School based programs

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.


Pre-school programs

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.


Senior citizen safety

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.


Child identification

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.


Tours of the Police Station

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.


Bike patrol

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.


Self defense

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.


Bike rodeo / safety event

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.


Contact us

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