THE RING It’s like caller ID for your front door. Ring, a company that sells video doorbells, is offering Mt. Lebanon residents a discount of $25 if you use the promo code 41lebo. Lauth says residents should do their own research on brands, but in general, video doorbells can be useful in deterring crime.
The Ring system has several options, but the system operates as a doorbell with a video camera. Depending on the model chosen, homeowners can select battery operated or hardwired cameras and the video can be set to record when the bell is rung or when the unit detects motion. The homeowner then gets a notification on their mobile device and can speak back to the person at the door, giving the person the impression someone is home even if you are not.
If you are home, you can choose whether you actually want to answer the door or ignore it.
Some options allow the video to be stored in the cloud, which is helpful in cases where packages are stolen. Info: www.ring.com
e-BLACKMAIL Have you cheated on your wife? Well, even if you haven’t, it’s possible you may get an email trying to scam you out of $2,000. Police Chief Aaron Lauth reports several residents—all men—have received a nasty and detailed note claiming to have evidence of the recipient’s tryst with someone other than his wife. The recipient can choose to ignore it, in which case, the blackmailer threatens to send the “evidence” to his wife and all her family and friends (Just in case the recipient was thinking of coming clean with his wife, the sender threw in the communication with friends and family for extra humiliation). Or, the recipient can choose to buy $2,000 worth of untraceable bitcoin and send it to the blackmailer who will then destroy the evidence.
In one case, the communication came to a couple’s email address and the wife read it first. Ooh. Some ‘splaining followed.
But don’t fall for it, Lauth says.
LOOK UP LEBO Walking in the winter can be challenging. If the sidewalks and walkways are impassable with snow or ice and you have to walk in the street, walk against traffic and as close to the curb as you can.
Proper gear is a must, but wearing dark “winter” colors can make it hard for drivers to see you. Consider wearing a brightly colored scarf or hat, or reflective gear, especially if you have to walk in the street.
Wearing hats and scarves that cover your ears can also distort or even eliminate these sounds. Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what’s going on around you.
Because of road conditions, drivers may not be able to stop quickly at traffic signals and stop signs, or slow down for pedestrians. Before you step off of the curb into the street, make sure that any approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop.
CONTINUING ED Lt. Duane Fisher completed three courses of training with the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, in Virginia and Oklahoma. The course reinforces skills in three types of leadership: supervisory, command and executive.
The classes emphasized the importance of “continually investing in your people so they’re able to take the reins once you leave.
“Successful leadership is built on cultivating meaningful relationships and a lifetime of continuous learning. Leaders in law enforcement must be approachable, empathetic and knowledgeable in order to be credible. Still, they must have the courage to challenge the status quo and ask the tough questions of themselves, of the department and of the community. This balance is key for positive growth and realizing the potential of any organization’s most important resource: its people.”
MEDICAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP Medical Rescue Team South’s annual membership drive is getting under way next month. An annual fee of just $40 per individual and $60 per household covers any co-pay, deductible or balance related to ambulance billing. A household subscription covers anyone who needs an ambulance while residing in or visiting your house. If you did not receive a membership packet in the mail, visit www.mrtsa.com and join online or call 412-343-5111. Membership is good from January 1 through December 31, 2017.
GET THE CHIMNEY READY Because you never know who might be dropping by. The Mt. Lebanon Fire Department will send a firefighter to your home to check the condition of your fireplace and offer you advice about maintenance and any repairs you might need. It would be really cool if they brought you a bag of chestnuts to roast on the open fire, but that’s just not in the cards, so you’ll have to take care of that on your end. Schedule an inspection by calling 412-440-2020.