October 9, 2008

City Approves $200K to Study Violence

By Jeremy Boren

Pittsburgh City Council approved legislation Tuesday to spend $200,000 on an anti-violence program intended to begin reducing the number of homicides here within six months.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl supports the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime program and is expected to sign the bill. The money will come from this year's police budget and will be used to pay for a detailed crime and gang activity analysis by University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work researchers.

Some of the money will pay the consulting fees of David M. Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Separately, Councilman Bruce Kraus announced he will introduce legislation Tuesday that would require landlords to explain the city's trash collection schedule to tenants. Landlords and tenants would have to sign and submit to the city a form indicating they understand how, where and when to dispose of trash properly.

Fines for violating the rules would range from $50 for tenants and $100 for owners of buildings with fewer than six apartments, and up to $5,000 a day for repeat offenders who own commercial or municipal structures.

Council members approved a $425,000 legal settlement with Norfolk Southern Railway Co. for a series of landslides in Elliott that damaged a portion of the railroad company's tracks in 2004 and 2005.

(c) 2008 Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.