For many years Pittsburghs business districts have called for the return of beat cops, officers that walk the district, know the businesses and provide for a safe shopping experience.
With the support of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP) has answered the call to re-establish such proactive police presence. Chief Harper has assigned four beat cops to each City's six police zones. Zone Commanders will assign the officers to business districts based on community need and crime data analysis.
One Mainstreets Pittsburgh group, Neighbors in the Strip (NITS), has chosen to play up its fun image by announcing the arrival of their beat officer with an Elvis is in the Strip campaign directed at their businesses. Officer Elvis Duratovic started walking the beat in Zone 2 last week.
Anchored by strong community support, the PBP Zone 2 Police Commander George T. Trosky recognized the value and need for a beat cop in one of Pittsburgh's largest business districts.
"Having an officer committed to a neighborhood creates bonds of trust and reliance between the police and the public," Commander Trosky said.
To make sure the businesses have a direct line to Elvis, NITS engaged their partner AT&T, at 2400 Penn Avenue, which has donated a Go Phone and phone card to help Officer Duratovic stay in touch with business owners in the Strip.
"Officer Duratovic will work closely with businesses and Neighbors in the Strip to educate community members about how to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime, to identify the problems, concerns and fears of community members, to identify and eliminate hazards that may promote crime or disorder, and to improve the overall quality of life in the community," said Becky Rodgers, NITS executive director.
The City wrapped up the year with record crime lows, marking it the safest year in the City in forty years.
"We continue to see a drop in crimes that might impact shoppers, such as theft and disorderly conduct," Mayor Ravenstahl said. "We hope to continue to drive down those numbers by keeping more police on the street, in your neighborhood, and working with better technology than ever before."
With the addition of more community-oriented policing techniques, neighborhoods will take more of a part in making 2008 even safer.
"We are delighted to have a police officer who will become familiar with our neighborhood and the issues we face," Cindy Baker, owner of Collage said. "This will go a long way towards helping us maintain the steps we have taken to ensure that the Strip remains a safe neighborhood for shoppers and other visitors."
Friday, January 18, 2008
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687