‘I haven’t given up the fight:’ Councilman pushing for police substation in Pittsburgh’s South Side

PITTSBURGH — 11 Investigates has learned that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been poured into the old Zone 3 police station on the South Side, which was meant to become a police substation, but it never opened.

In 2021, former Mayor Bill Peduto announced the new substation would be open in 2022 and construction even began. 11 Investigates has since learned how much money has gone into the building.

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Councilman Bruce Kraus represents the district that includes the South Side. He says he’s been fighting to keep a police station open on the South Side since before he was elected. In 2008, Zone 3 moved from the South Side to Allentown. The fire department that is attached has remained open.

“I haven’t given up the fight nor will I,” Kraus tells Channel 11. “We have about $500,000 vested into the reopening of that into the substation.”

That includes:

  • $14,184 for plumbing
  • $3,090 for abestos testing and abatement
  • $76,858 for doors
  • $16,774 for interior renovation and supplies
  • $461,261.58 for masonry to the police side and shooting range

“This council has worked very hard and very diligently to make sure this does become a reality in the South Side Flats and now you have documentation to support that,” Kraus added. “We have $100-200,000 that was allocated in American Rescue Plan money to ensure that station would reopen, and work is probably about 50% completed.”

But the mayor’s office tells 11 Investigates, the building isn’t up to par, and they envision the substation in a different building. Mayor Ed Gainey declined to do an on-camera interview.

Kraus tells 11 Investigates that’s news to him — he hasn’t heard a word from the mayor.

“If the mayor and I need to converse about it, we will,” Kraus added. “As you can see, in financially troubled times, we have a $500,000 invested in the building already and certainly it would be my strong desire to see it completed.”

Kraus also shared that he believes we cannot police our way out of problems on the South Side. He says a substation would create an environment to help deter problem behaviors.

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