Pittsburgh Police Cuts Staff, Won’t Respond To Certain Emergencies

Pittsburgh Police cruiser parked outside the Zone 3 station. Photo: Shane Simmons/Flickr

Pittsburgh police no longer responding to certain emergency calls, The frum kehilla is taking action.

By FrumNews.com

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which has a vibrant, storied and growing Frum community, Police announced a weird move to cut the Pittsburgh police budget so that it would not respond to 911 calls that are not “in progress emergencies.” 

The city has created an enhanced Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) that operates from 3AM – 7AM daily, including weekends. 911 Dispatchers will assign reports to the TRU for calls that do not ‘require’ an in-person response by officers. 

According to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the TRU will not be assigned to any “In Progress” call where a suspect may be on the scene, any crime where a person may need medical aid, any domestic dispute, calls with evidence, or when the Mobile Crime Unit will be requested to process a scene.

As part of the changes, the city police department won’t have desk officers between the hours of 3 and 7 AM. Instead, call boxes linked to 911 have been installed. The disturbing part that has received most of the attention is that the plan has only 22 officers on call in the wee hours of the morning.  

According to reports, Police Chief Larry Scirotto said that having officers respond to every 911 call was “not the most efficient way to use our resources.”

These odd changes come after the city has been struggling with its budget and recruiting new police officers, forcing it to cut hours and its budget.

in 2018, there was an anti semitic shooting attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Eleven Yidden were murdered Al Kiddush Hashem and six people were injured.

The Frum community in Squirrel Hill, which is in Zone 4, won’t be staffed and will need to rely on zone 5, which is further away. 

Local Askunim said that the changes in protocol mean that it’s crucial for the Frum community to remain vigilant about their safety, security and to practice good situational awareness. Many Yidden in the Kehilla have been applying recently for their concealed carry firearms permit. Self defense classes, firearms training courses and range training are as well being arranged for the local community.

“We’ve done so much to ensure our community is secure,” Shawn Brokos of the Jewish  Federation told the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. “We have a very layered approach, have great target hardening and have great community support from law enforcement and community leaders.”

“So, while I’m not happy with the changes, I think it’s a good time to reinforce in our community that we have come so far and our community is safe,” she said. “We have infrastructure in place, and we can lean on one another and look out for one another.”


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