Big changes to Pittsburgh Bureau of Police staffing are in effect

PITTSBURGH — Some big changes are coming to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police starting Monday.

Officers will no longer respond to any calls that aren’t “in-progress emergencies.” That means calls for theft, harassment, criminal mischief and burglary alarms will all be handled by the telephone reporting unit or online reporting.

“When it comes to harassment and things of this nature, you better have a police officer there. That’s what the public expects. That’s what I expect out of our city,” Councilman Anthony Coghill told Channel 11.

From 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., there won’t be a desk officer at any of the six zone stations. Instead, call boxes linked to 911 have been installed for emergencies. And on some overnight shifts, there will be 22 officers covering the entire city.

Some of the changes are due to staffing shortages, said Chief Larry Scirotto, and the union released a statement, saying in part that the new plan, “...is a direct response to a seriously understaffed police department.”

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