Pittsburgh police opening new Downtown Public Safety Center to reduce crime, memo says

PITTSBURGH — A memo sent to Pittsburgh police officers says the city is establishing a new center to help reduce the amount of crime in the city.

Authorities say they are establishing a Downtown Public Safety Center (DPSC). The center is designed “to improve the quality of life and reduce crime and disorder for all.”

The acting assistant police chief, Christopher Ragland, sent a message to the bureau encouraging anyone interested in the project to apply.

The center will be made up of a series of “Downtown Public Safety Patrol Officers” who will be in charge of making different safety strategies with different partners and organizations who are dedicated to public safety.

Officers on foot, on bicycle patrol and mounted police patrol will be a part of the center.

Channel 11′s Cara Sapida asked people what they thought about the change.

“I have class at night, it would be good to see more police presence around,” said Jared Topping, a student at Point Park University.

“I think those extra precautionary measures will make everyone feel safe,” said Manon.

The center will also connect with the community by building a network of relationships with individual residents, businesses and civic organizations.

“No matter where he gets the personnel to staff this downtown unit, there’s going to be a serious, substantial service disruption somewhere else, and then the easy way to get the personnel is to just take cardboard cut outs of cops and just post them downtown,” said Bob Swartzwelder, Pittsburgh Police Officers’ Union President.

Officers will take a step outside of traditional policing methods to create positive outcomes, including working on education.

Downtown Public Safety Patrol Officers will work weekends and holidays.

The announcement comes after several incidents occurred in Downtown Pittsburgh over the past two weeks.

RELATED COVERAGE >>> Man shot, killed in Downtown Pittsburgh Thursday; 18-year-old charged with homicide

RELATED COVERAGE >>> Video shows moment shots fired in downtown Pittsburgh, no injuries reported

All applications will have to be submitted by Feb. 17.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW