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Pittsburgh Cuts Police Response: Chief Scirotto’s Plan Amid BLM Fallout

Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto cuts police call response due to understaffing and BLM fallout.

Where has Black Lives Matter and defund the police led us? These damaging movements have ushered us into an era where major cities are now grappling with surging crime rates and a perilous thinning of police forces. This has left them equipped to respond only to a mere slice of the urgent calls that flood their lines daily. Pittsburgh is the latest city to fall victim to this dire predicament, with its police force now limited to attending only active emergency situations.

This drastic policy shift is part of Chief Larry Scirotto’s ambitious strategy to slash the Pittsburgh Police Bureau’s call volume from 200,000 to a mere 50,000 in 2024. It’s worth noting that Scirotto, before returning back to Pittsburgh, was fired from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department over accusations of reverse discrimination in his hiring practices, asking questions such as “Which one is Blacker?” This controversy illuminates his obvious alignment with the very leftist ideologies that have left urban centers in turmoil.

Pittsburgh’s citizens are now bracing for a new normal where reports of theft, criminal mischief, and harassment are rerouted to a telephone or online reporting system, leaving no desk officers available in the dead of night from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

While Chief Scirotto frames this drastic pivot as an opportunity for officers to foster deeper community connections—suggesting they might, for example, spend time at the YMCA rather than addressing a minor incident on the 10th Street bypass—such optimistic scenarios do little to alleviate the growing concerns over public safety in Pittsburgh. Far from being a forward-thinking approach to community policing, this move appears to be a desperate bid to cope with a police force stretched too thin, a consequence of the staggering turnover rates post-2020’s widespread protests.

A revealing study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice points to a troubling trend: an alarming uptick in resignations and retirements across nearly 80% of police agencies since the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. The aftershocks of the 2020 upheaval and the cries to defund the police have left a lasting impact on urban infrastructure and policing capabilities.

As Pittsburgh navigates these tumultuous waters, the repercussions of the defund the police narrative are coming into sharp focus. American cities are still reeling from the chaos of past protests, and now, the safety of their citizens hangs in the balance. The legacy of the BLM movement has laid the groundwork for a crisis in law enforcement staffing and effectiveness. This misguided crusade has not only endangered the very communities it aimed to protect but also eroded the morale of the police forces entrusted with their care. The true cost of these movements is now measured in the strained fabric of our cities, where the balance between justice and safety remains perilously unsettled.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.