Press Release

Rockey tours South Side, calls for action on crime

Pledges to make Allegheny ‘Safest County in the Nation’


August 7, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Coming off the release of a plan to address crime in Allegheny County, Republican nominee for Allegheny County Executive Joe Rockey toured the South Side, described in the media as an “epicenter of crime,” and met with local business owners.

“What I saw today was a neighborhood that has, after long years of bad policy, reached a breaking point,” Rockey said. “The crime problem calls for law-enforcement solutions. As County Executive, I’ll work to make sure that county police join in the fight to win back this neighborhood.”

Rockey went on to pledge that he would make Allegheny County “the safest county in the United States” by implementing a plan to fight crime on multiple fronts, from police work to building a stronger economy.

Rockey’s visit came days after he picked up the endorsement of two more police unions, these representing the 4,300-strong Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 47, representing troopers in the state’s southwest.

The tour began at the now-closed Carson Street Saloon, whose owners, Brian and Frank Vetere decided to end business rather than face the growing violence nearby. A man was shot to death near Carson City Saloon in July.

“We need strong, consistent law enforcement to restore the South Side to its status as a vibrant, culturally diverse community where families can thrive and visitors can socialize safely,” Rockey said in announcing the tour.

The Republican nominee traveled by foot down Carson, sharing thoughts with local leaders before hosting an eight-person roundtable in which local residents and business owners shared their concerns and ideas on how to confront the problem.

Standing outside a vacant building in the 1900 block of East Carson, Rockey stood next to a poster quoting the late Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller: “It ain’t perfect, but I don’t mind, because it’s worth it.”

Richard Cupka, a local restaurateur, told Rockey that in past years, the building would have been remodeled and put back on what was once a thriving real estate market in the neighborhood.

“There’s a direct correlation between the violence and the increased vacancies,” Cupka said. “The lack of public safety is crippling the whole neighborhood.”

At a roundtable discussion at Cupka’s shop, Rockey pledged as county executive to oversee a concerted effort to stem crime and disruption in the South Side.

“People came here to enjoy themselves,” Rockey said. “That’s what we need to get it back to.”