After a series of delayed responses in calling 911 and a handful of successful robberies, Mt. Lebanon police Chief Coleman McDonough posted a guide to the police website on when to call the emergency line.
McDonough noted that he is a relative newcomer to the town and that he may not be familiar with some of its traditions and the friendly attitude toward strangers.
“Based on recent events, I can only assume that as an extension of that spirit of hospitality, some of our residents are apparently not alarmed when they run into strangers inside their own homes,” McDonough wrote.
He noted that if someone notices a break-in, they should immediately call the police. However, in two recent incidents, Mt. Lebanon residents waited hours to call 911 and report intruders. Both of these events occurred on the same day, in the same neighborhood as another successful burglary.
“The Mt. Lebanon Police can help deter crime here,” McDonough wrote, “but without citizens taking common sense steps to assist us, our mission is much more difficult.”
He encouraged those hesitant to call 911 to pick up the phone and report crime, noting that it’s better to clear up a misunderstanding than allow a burglar to prey on the neighborhood.
The miffed police chief concluded with a list of things not to do including “Call aunt Myrtle for advice,” “call the maintenance man at your church” and “post a query on Facebook”.