Pittsburgh Police End Responding to Certain Emergency Calls

The city of Pittsburgh says it will no longer respond to 911 calls that are not related to “in progress emergencies” starting this week.

According to a press release titled “Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Makes Operational Changes to Better Serve Pittsburgh,” the city will create a “Telephone Reporting Unit” (TRU) to dispatch calls that do not require an in-person response by officers.

“TRU will NOT be assigned to any ‘In Progress’ call where a suspect may be on scene, any crime where a person may need medical aid, any domestic dispute, calls with evidence, or where the Mobile Crime Unit will be requested to process a scene,” the press release said.

Calls related to crimes such as criminal mischief, theft, harassment and burglary alarms will all be handled by the TRU or other forms of online reporting, according to an investigation by the Pittsburgh-based station WPXI.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto says the change is part of an effort to cut down the department’s call volume from 200,000 to 50,000 calls per year.

“An additional day away from work each week to focus on family, friends, or outside pursuits is key to creating a healthy workforce and contributes to the Bureau’s goal of not only recruiting new officers, but retaining them for the long haul,” Sciotto said.