Award winner

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo accepts a plaque from Suja Shunmugavela, honoring New Castle's designation as one of only 26 Safe Communities in the nation.

You ought to feel a little safer in New Castle these days.

The city is one of only three in Pennsylvania and 26 in the nation to be designated a “Safe Community.”

The formal award ceremony took place yesterday at Jameson South, where about 100 attendees watched Suja Shunmugavelu of the National Safety Council present a plaque to Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo. The luncheon event was hosted by the New Castle Rotary Club, which has several members who sit on the Safe Communities board of directors.

Teresa Cole, region safety manager for First Student, one of the corporate sponsors of Safe Communities, said the award is the culmination of two years of meetings, and a review of data and statistics by over 40 members of the community.

By improving the quality of life and saving lives, the program “makes New Castle a better community to live in, to work in,” in addition to attracting and retaining individuals and businesses to this area, she said.

Those participating in the two year effort included the city’s police and fire departments, local ambulance services, Jameson Hospital, city schools, chamber of commerce, New Castle City Council, Lawrence County commissioners, United Way, the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office, the Lawrence County Coroner’s office, Department of Public Safety, Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, Human Services, the New Castle Health Department, Challenges/Office on Aging, the Hoyt Institute and Careerlink, Zambelli International, the YMCA, and Cray Youth and Family Services,

The effort, Cole said, “ just doesn’t end here, today.” She explained that the city must seek recertification every five years as a safe community.

The National Safety Council has been the nation’s leading safety advocate for 100 years, according to its website, safecommunitiesamerica.org. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1913.

Its mission is to prevent the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, unintentional injuries. It works to prevent injuries and deaths at work, home, in the community and on the road by engaging community leaders and groups to examine causes and work towards prevention.

The website states that cities with this designation average a 10 percent reduction for both intentional and unintentional fatal injuries.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

Reporter

Mary was a full-time reporter for the News for four years and covered Mahoning, Union, Shenango, North Beaver and Pulaski townships and Wilmington Board of Education. Past experience: Vindicator, Lisbon Morning Journal, and several weekly newspapers.

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