Department of Public Safety
2016 National Night Out · Community · Public Safety Partnerships

National Night Out in Pittsburgh, 2015 :  A Success!

National Night Out 2015 was a great success! This year forty-three neighborhood public safety parties registered with the city with a projected attendance of over 4,200 residents that’s 1,000 more than was projected last year. Thanks to everyone who participated this year proving that we are SaferTogether!

Events, celebrations and announcements scheduled this year to highlight successful resident, city and private partnerships for public safety:

  • National Night Out Kick-off at PDP’s KidsPlay in Market Square with County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto, Zone Public Safety Councils and all of our Public Safety Bureau Personnel and Vehicles
    • Tuesday, July 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Carrick Business District Virtual Block Watch initiated by Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, the Carrick/Overbrook Community Watch, Zone 3 Police and the Business Owners in the 2700 block Brownsville Road
    • Friday, July 31 at 11:00 a.m.          
  • National Night Out Neighborhood Celebrations hosted by 43 Neighborhoods across Pittsburgh.
    • Tuesday, August 4 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Zone 1 First Responder Appreciation Lunch hosted by the Zone 1 Public Safety Council
    • Wednesday, August 5 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Next year National Night Out is Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Let's get ready!

 What is National Night Out?

Young Homewood residents describe the purpose of National Night Out.

National Night Out started as a porch light vigil, representing each participating community’s awareness of crime and their commitment to preventing it. Porch lights were left on as a warning to criminals that crime was not welcome in the community. While the traditional porch light vigil is still common today, many communities celebrate by hosting picnics, cookouts and block parties. Public safety personnel and local government officials visit neighborhood events to interact with residents.

Holding a NNO neighborhood event is a great way to meet new neighbors, celebrate the success of your community watch or block club and strengthen your relationships with city public safety departments. In Pittsburgh, celebrations range from porch parties to ice cream socials, to cookouts, to community festivals and include visits from public safety personnel, elected officials and their staff.

Not sure what to do? Here are a few ideas.

Your event can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. Whatever you do will depend on the amount of time, effort, energy and resources you have available. You can access the City of Pittsburgh’s National Night Out Planning Guideor review event examples and suggestions below:

1. In one Pittsburgh neighborhood, each resident was asked to turn on their porch light, sit out, and provide refreshments as they enjoy the evening with their neighbors to send a message that their community will not tolerate crime.

2. One block watch hosted a DJ and invited the local magistrate to grill hotdogs. The local firehouse brought its truck and educated kids about fire safety. The SWAT van was there for residents to tour and block watch members handed out safety information and gun locks.

3. Another Pittsburgh neighborhood hosted a neighborhood meet-and-greet with sandwiches and beverages. Community members participated in a neighborhood walk, followed by a park clean-up effort and a movie in the park.

4. One community group provided refreshments and handouts for their attendees. In addition, they hosted a kickball game while the playground and neighborhood pool were open for children.

5. Another neighborhood group hosted a gun safety, fire safety and fire equipment demonstration. Residents were able to get fingerprinted and Otto the Auto, AAA’s remote-controlled talking car, taught kids about traffic safety. The community hosted a DJ, a mime, a caricature artist, a face painter, mascots, a balloon artist, games, prizes, and free refreshments.

Citiparks activities may be scheduled in your neighborhood on Tuesday, August 4 that might make a good start for your event. Check the Citiparks Website or call 412-255-2539 for more information.

Carnegie Library branches may also have a celebration scheduled. To contact a branch near you, call 412-622-3114 or visit:

Churches or other community groups often hold events in early August. Partner with them and add a public safety component.

Police Zone Commanders and Community Relations Officers (CRO) can be helpful in arranging police equipment to visit your event. Call your police zone and ask for assistance.

Zone 1   Commander Lavonnie Bickerstaff,  CRO Officers Larry Crawford.   (412) 323-7201

Zone 2  Commander Eric  Holmes,  CRO Ray Perry (412) 255-2827 

             Zone 3  Commander Karen Dixon, CRO Officers Christine Luffey and Eric Baker  (412) 488-8326

            Zone 4  Commander Daniel Hermann, CRO Officers Shannon Leshen  and Thomas Pauley  (412) 422-6520

            Zone 5  Commander Jason Lando, CRO Officers Michael Gay, Karen McNeal (412) 665-3605

            Zone 6  Commander Chris Raglan, CRO Kenneth Stevwing  (412) 937-3051

A map of the police bureau zones in the City of Pittsburgh can be found here: Zone map.

Contact Animal Care and Control at (412) 255-2036 or and Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security at (412) 255-2633 or for informational brochures.

Fire trucks can attend events, too. Call Bureau of Fire Headquarters (412) 255-2860 or to contact a fire house in your community.

Don't forget to contact Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at (412) 622-6931 for information and services.

For more information, please direct questions to  Department of Public Safety, SaferTogether Pittsburgh Coordinators:

To see more of the fun, go to the Public Safety Department’s National Night Out 2015

  • Liz Style, (412) 25/5-8977
  • John Tokarski, (412)255-2117
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