News

Pittsburgh police alter policy over calls handled by phone

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 9, 2016 2:24 PM
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(Pittsburgh) -- Pittsburgh public safety officials have reversed course and will scale back a new policy that had clerks taking some crime reports over the phone rather than dispatching a police officer. 

Police Chief Cameron McLay last month issued an order prohibiting officers from appearing in person to handle reports of 14 types of crimes, including criminal mischief, simple assault, harassment and terroristic threats. Dispatchers were instructed to refer those to a Telephone Reporting Unit.

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review residents complained about the new policy, especially regarding domestic violence.

Public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler says officers will now respond to complaints of simple assault, harassment and terroristic threats.

McLay says the intention of the policy change was to free up officers so they could to spend more time improving community relations and patrolling streets.

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