Public Safety

Mt. Lebanon police officers teamed with U.S. postal inspectors to arrest and charge a man who assaulted a letter carrier. From left: Ofc. Bob Culp, Lt. Dan Hyslop, Ofc. Steve Shipe, Lt. Patrick O’Brien, Ofc. Bryan Crabb, U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung, Ofc. Jacob Elk, Cpl. Sam Smolarek and postal inspectors Martin Blow and Joe Bell.


Seven members of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department are being lauded for their exemplary professionalism, teamwork and lifesaving skills.

On May 28, a mail carrier was attacked while delivering mail on Castlegate Avenue. Mt. Lebanon police teamed with three postal inspectors to arrest the attacker and build a case that resulted in his being charged with attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault, and indicted for federal violations.

The highly esteemed Law Enforcement Agency Directors (LEAD) award was given to the officers in October during a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion in Schenley Park.

“The quality of our officers’ work does not surprise me,” said acting police chief Jason Haberman. “But to be recognized in such a dramatic way is gratifying…. It’s an award that’s voted on by the directors of all federal agencies in addition to the larger municipal police agencies. So the quality of work that was represented in the nominations was spectacular.”

Award recipients included Lt. Patrick O’Brien, patrol officers Steve Shipe, Robert Culp, Bryan Crabb and Jacob Elk, and investigators Lt. Dan Hyslop and Cpl. Sam Smolarek.

Officers provided first aid to the victim, who was severely beaten with a baseball bat. Simultaneously, officers coordinated the containment and arrest of the suspect, who had fled to a nearby residence. Lt. O’Brien was praised for his efforts coordinating a complex incident involving multiple scene locations, with the assistance of Mt. Lebanon officers.

Mt. Lebanon Commissioners commended the officers for their efforts at a November meeting.


MAKE ROOM FOR THE PLOWS When snow is in the forecast, move your car off the street between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Even if you previously received permission to park on the street, that permission is suspended when the snowplows need to get through.


LOOK UP LEBO We’ve all gotten behind that driver who, for reasons known only to that type of motorist, keeps their turn signal going the entire time they are operating the vehicle—you never know when you’re going to need that signal in a hurry and there may not be time to activate it. Or maybe they’re calmed by the blinking light. While this can be a minor irritant for other drivers, pedestrians should never assume that, just because the signal is on, a turn is coming up anytime in the foreseeable future. If you’re crossing the street in the face of an oncoming vehicle that appears to be turning, wait until it has actually committed to the turn before stepping into the crosswalk.

Photo: Ken Lager

GET ON THE TRUCK The Mt. Lebanon Fire Department welcomes eight new volunteers. Several of the new firefighters joined after taking the Citizens Fire Academy, which gives residents an inside look at the department.

Applicants must pass a background check, a physical that includes a stress test and a test for controlled substances.

Once a new applicant is accepted, they are enrolled in the department’s firefighter essentials course, a 160-hour program that prepares them for the next step in the process, which is passing the test to obtain Firefighter I status. Volunteers also need to pass the firefighter combat challenge: Carry 50 pounds of hose up three flights of stairs; hoist 50 pounds on a rope up three flights of stairs; hit a 150-pound beam five feet with a sledgehammer; drag 100 pounds for 100 feet; and drag a 180-pound mannequin 100 feet, all in 7½  minutes.

After the volunteers complete initial training, they are required to attend weekly training drills, monthly business meetings and must respond to approximately 10 calls per month.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer firefighter, visit

Samantha Montooth is the newest addition to South Hills Cooperative Animal Control’s roster. She shares her home with a couple of dogs, Freya (pictured), and Thor.

NEW AT ANIMAL CONTROL Samantha Montooth is South Hills Cooperative Animal Control’s newest officer. Montooth, a Pittsburgh native, graduated from Pittsburgh Career Institute in 2016 with an associate in specialized technology degree in veterinary technology. She has worked at three veterinary clinics before accepting the job with SHCAC.

“I have always had a love for taking care of animals and making sure they get the help they need,” she said. “I enjoy getting to educate people about any knowledge I have about any animal.”

South Hills Cooperative Animal Control is headquartered in Upper St. Clair, and serves the communities of Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Dormont, Scott Township, Green Tree, Whitehall, Castle Shannon, Heidelberg, Carnegie, Rosslyn Farms, Baldwin Township, Pennsbury Village, Bethel Park and Baldwin Borough.