Pittsburgh Police Make Big Announcement


The police department in the city of Pittsburgh have made a major announcement.

Calls that are not considered “in -progress emergencies” will be assigned by dispatch to a telephone recording unit.

The city’s website states, “Creation of an enhanced Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) operating from 7-3 a.m. daily, including weekends. Dispatch will assign reports to the TRU for calls that do not require an in-person response by officers. TRU will NOT be assigned to any “In Progress” call where a suspect may be on scene, any crime where a person may need medical aid, any domestic dispute, calls with evidence, or where the Mobile Crime Unit will be requested to process a scene.”

Additionally, there will be no officers present at police stations between 3 and 7am because there are supposedly fewer 911 calls during that period. During those hours, Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto said that only 22 officers would cover the entire city.

“It’s enough to cover the entire city in those hours when we have 8% of the time people are calling … I’m confident in the decisions that we make, that it impacts this bureau and this city in much better way than we have in the past,” Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto stated.

Scirotto said that he was left with little choice after staffing dropped to 740 officers from 835 at the start of 2023. A full staff is 900.

The chief explained that one shift was being run “ragged.”

Scirotto said that one-third of the officers worked overnight however, two thrids of their calls took place between 2pm and 2am.

Stating, “we’re running one shift ragged, under-resourcing it, and over-resourcing another.”

Bob Swartzwelder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police is wary of the plan.

“I think the strategy at this point is a hope and a prayer that they can base everyone on data,” he said. “It may pan out to be correct. It may be disastrous.”

The question is what happens when more people leave?

City councilwoman Theresea Kail-Smith said that the changes are “a recipe ripe for disaster.”

“My community is not happy,” said Ms. Kail-Smith, whose district includes much of the West End. “They want to see how it’s going to play out.”



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