Community Outreach

The District Attorney sponsors a number of programs designed to assist citizens residing in and around Allegheny County, as well as assist community-based crime prevention initiatives and law enforcement agencies.

Cribs For Kids Initiative

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. was a founding member and remains an advisor to and supporter of the “Cribs For Kids” program which is run by SIDS of Pennsylvania.

“Cribs For Kids,” founded in 1998, was a natural outgrowth of the American Academy of Pediatrics “Back to Sleep” campaign which began in 1994. The program provides cribs to low income families in an effort to create a safe environment for sleeping babies and lower the risk of infant mortality. To learn more about this initiative, visit the following: www.cribsforkids.org.

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program

This 45-minute presentation is designed to help educate parents, teachers and students about the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in our communities, the consequences of getting involved with these substances, and the importance of community, school and family dialogues concerning substance abuse. Contact the Asset Forfeiture Unit to learn more, or to arrange for a presentation.

Drug Prevention Program

Once a month during the academic year, the District Attorney’s Office partners with Greenfield Organized Against Drugs for a program at the Allegheny County Jail designed to strongly reinforce the consequences of either engaging in substance abuse or refusing to assist a friend or classmate who is affected by substance abuse issues.

Internet Safety Program

Using the Internet to commit crimes, especially crimes committed against youth, is a growing concern. Thousands of sexual predators surf the Internet daily looking for potential child victims. Children are also victims of cyberbullying on a daily basis. The Office of the District Attorney provides programs to address these issues. To learn more, contact the office at (412) 350-4401.

The 9-1-1 Mobile Training Unit

The District Attorney’s 9-1-1 Mobile Training Unit is a van equipped to travel to schools, community events or other venues to provide a hands-on interactive training program for all ages concerning when to dial 9-1-1, and how to report criminal activity or emergency situations.

When used at schools, telephone lines are linked directly from the van into classrooms for hands-on calls to a dispatcher located in the van. Emergency scenarios are presented and participants then dial the telephone and talk to the dispatcher. For children, kindergarten through third grade, the curriculum includes information as basic as when to dial 9-1-1, how to dial the telephone, and what to say to the dispatcher. Older children and adults are taught to report emergency situations accurately after they have observed various different scenarios.

The Mobile Training Unit has helped provide training for more than a decade. In fact, between 2000 and 2009, more than 200,000 people in Western Pennsylvania received training from the 9-1-1 Mobile Training Program.

Contact the District Attorney’s Office and ask for the Asset Forfeiture Unit to learn more about the van.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office contributes matching funds to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation/The Giving Back Fund to purchase K-9’s for local law enforcement agencies.

The Car Seat Safety Checkpoint Program

The District Attorney’s Office sponsors six car seat safety checkpoints in Allegheny County. Established in 2004, the checkpoints are currently conducted by the police departments in Moon Township, North Versailles Township, Ohio Township, West Deer Township, Baldwin Borough and the City of Pittsburgh.

Each checkpoint has a certified Safety Equipment Assistance Team (S.E.A.T.) to inspect vehicles, by appointment. Since 2004, thousands of vehicles have been inspected at these checkpoints and where necessary, have been provided appropriate infant/car seats or booster seats at no cost to the families. To learn more about car seat safety and checkpoints, visit the following: www.patechs.com

The Pennsylvania Alliance for Safe and Drug Free Children

The Pennsylvania Alliance for Safe and Drug Free Children is a non-profit organization comprised of school and community leaders, parents and students, and has become a strong and active coalition with the commitment and support from numerous state, county and regional leaders. The Alliance is comprised of school districts and private school institutions across the Western Pennsylvania region.

To date, numerous public and private schools, including elementary, middle and high schools, mental health and drug/alcohol organizations, faith-based institutions, and dozens of community business sponsors, law enforcement and other government agencies are members of the Alliance. To learn more, or to become a member (free) of the Alliance, visit: www.drug-alliance.org.