Police Cuts Staff Between 3-7 A.M., No Longer Responds Unless Emergency

(ConservativeJournal.org) – According to Police Chief Larry Scirotto, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police has implemented new changes for their daily operations, causing some backlash. One of the biggest changes is that the department will no longer respond to emergencies that are happening during certain hours, and the number of officers on night shifts will be limited. Chief Scirotto explained that these adjustments aim to improve efficiency of the 740 police officers that are currently available and overall better serve the community.

Lower-priority calls, including harassment, theft, and burglary alarms during the night and early morning hours will be directed to a new telephone reporting unit instead of an officer. Scirotto emphasized that the period between 3 AM and 7 AM experiences the lowest amount of calls, so staffing during these times will also be re-organized. Stations will be without an officer at the desk, with 25 to 60 officers scheduled for early morning shifts. Officers will also transition to 10-hour shifts over four days a week, with one-hour breaks for mental health reasons.

Burglar alarms will now require a second confirmation before officer response. A significant number of previous calls were false alarms, which wasted a lot of hours for the personnel.

Fraternal Order of Police union spokesman Bob Swartzwelder raised concerns about the cutbacks, noting that only 14 or 15 officers are on duty during the very early morning. Swartzwelder expressed apprehension about the department’s diminishing manpower and questioned the efficacy of the new strategy.

District Attorney Steve Zappala also criticized the changes. He supposedly found them perplexing and questioned if any other large city operates as a part-time police department. Zappala expressed the need for clarification from Chief Scirotto on the rationale behind the alterations.

Despite these concerns, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey voiced support for Chief Scirotto’s decision.

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