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Tags: pittsburgh | crime | police
OPINION

Pittsburgh Happier Shuffling Numbers Versus Reducing Crime

crime scene tape
(Dreamstime)

Michael Letts By Monday, 04 March 2024 12:12 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The fallout from the “Defund the Police” movement continues.

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police recently announced that it will no longer respond to all in-person calls. Instead, a new police Telephone Reporting Unit will respond to calls that “do not require an in-person response by officers.”

This is what happens when people demonize police and reduce funding to police agencies. It is simple logic. It was the goal of  “Defund the Police.”

Yet, once it started happening, the same people who wanted to “Defund the Police” are surprised when there aren’t enough police officers to handle all the calls for service because crime in most cities has increased.

This is because criminals aren’t as dumb as the people who pushed to “Defund the Police.” They realized that there would be fewer police, which created opportunities for them to get away with crimes.

In Pittsburgh, the police will continue to respond to crime-in-progress calls “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,” according to a bureau press release.

WPXI reported that this means the call center will handle burglary alarms, theft, criminal mischief and harassment. Residents can also use online reporting methods to register the call.

One slight hiccup to this idea is that it won’t be a 24/7 system. It will only operate from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. So if a reportable crime happens in the four-hour gap, the victim will either have to wait for help or hope a police officer is available.

This is one of a few changes the bureau has enacted. Another change is to the work schedules for police officers. A third potential change involves having the Pittsburgh Parking Authority handle all parking complaints.

The goal of all these changes is to reduce the number of calls police respond to by 75%, from 200,000 calls a year to 50,000 calls, according to Police Chief Larry Scirotto.

These changes may actually do that, but it won’t do it by reducing crime in the city. It is playing a numbers game by shifting calls from the Bureau of Police to the call center or parking authority.

Residents, union officials, and members of the city council have reservations about the plans, and they should.

When the crime rate in the city skyrockets again because criminals now know what types of crimes will generate the least response from police, it will be hard to bring it back under control, as cities are finding out currently.

Pittsburgh may be trying to do the most with a reduced force, but if the police continue not to get public support and increased funding, crime will grow no matter how much number shuffling they do.

Michael Letts is the Founder and CEO of In-Vest USA, a national grassroots nonprofit organization helping to re-fund police by contributing thousands of bulletproof vests for police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. Read More Michael Letts reports — Here.

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MichaelLetts
The fallout from the "Defund the Police" movement continues. The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police recently announced that it will no longer respond to all in-person calls.
pittsburgh, crime, police
523
2024-12-04
Monday, 04 March 2024 12:12 PM
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