The Beat Cop

The beat cop is a much coveted neighborhood tool. Neighborhood groups across the City, beg and plead with their Zone Commanders and the Mayor to acquire just a few hours a week of such a person’s time. In an article in today’s P-G, the questions is raised, “Will Squirrel Hill get a dedicated beat cop?

If any neighborhood needs a beat cop, it’s not Squirrel Hill. However, because the neigbors and businesses there fussed (and have a lot of money…to contribute to political campaigns) (and turn out to vote), it looks like a distinct possibility.

This is just another example of how community and economic development decision-making in this city is based on politics, not what’s best for the City. Police allocation decisions should be made on crime data. Yes, it’s that simple. And someone should tell Squirrel Hill that it’s got the safest, wealthiest neighborhood in the city and it doesn’t need a beat cop. Oh, wait, they know:

“We don’t have any big, bad issues,” said Mr. Sigal.

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  • Officer Krupke

    Simmer down lefty. It’s not a zero sum game. Forbes and Murray getting a beat cop doesn’t mean that your shopping strip won’t. And if community and political organization gets city government’s attention, then that’s a good lesson for other neighborhoods. And why should being a “safe”, wealthy neighborhood preclude Squirrel Hill from having adequate police protection? Check the police logs. Crime happens all over Zone 4.

  • Disappointed

    “Simmer down lefty”? That’s not nice.

    In many people eyes, especially those who literally fear to walk down their neighborhood main streets at night, where crack and heroin are being openly dealt, and vandalism is a frequent occurrence, every single day there isn’t more police presence, it is a zero sum game.

    Clearly you have no idea how much other neighborhood organizations and people have PLEADED to get more adequate police protection in these neighborhoods. In August 2008, more than 500 residents signed a petition in less than a week to get a hearing about lack of staffing in Zone 3. (Only 25 signatures were required!) The meeting lasted almost 2 hours, but the media coverage was almost nil. And actually, folks in Zone 3 *do* get out and vote.

    Pittsburgh’s tax base is not declining because people are moving out of Squirrel Hill for safety reasons. They are moving out of other, less safe neighborhoods. We have to look at this holistically.

    • handwringer

      The post that I commented on disparaged not only the notion of putting a beat cop in Squirrel Hill, but the community itself–my community–a number of times. So who’s not being nice? Anyway, I was just making a little joke with the “lefty” tag, and calling it as I see it. If you get offended so easily, either don’t post, or don’t make things personal. Stick to the issues.