South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

City to establish police substation Downtown


October 3, 2017

Legislation has been introduced at Pittsburgh City Council authorizing a lease for a new Downtown police substation near Market Square, and a new fire and medic station alerting system. 

Mayor William Peduto, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich and other law enforcement personnel have been in talks for months with Downtown business, cultural and residential groups regarding plans to establish a new Downtown substation for police. Legislation was introduced to council to lease the Lantern Building at 600 Liberty Avenue for that purpose.

The five-year lease with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the building’s owners, will be for $1 per year plus an upfront security deposit of $5,000, along with an agreement that the city will cover utility expenses. 

According to Director Hissrich the inside of the building is in move-in condition but it will need some additional security upgrades before Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers can fully occupy the substation. It should be in full working order by Light Up Night, Friday, Nov. 18. 

The mayor and the Public Safety Department also introduced legislation for a contract with Purvis Systems for the installation of new $2.3 million Fire and Emergency Medical Services station alerting system. 

The alerting system will supplement the current radio dispatch system by sharing 9-1-1 call information digitally in addition to via radio. Firefighters and medics will be able to respond more quickly to calls for assistance and improve the accuracy of the information shared between the caller, the call taker, the dispatcher and the members of the two bureaus. 

The upgrades should also reduce day-to-day stress for firefighters and medics. The current radio system broadcasts every call citywide to every fire and medic station; the new system will alert only those stations needed to respond to a specific call, and thereby allow them to be quieter. 

The existing radio alert system will stay in place as the new digital system is phased in over a roughly 12-month period. Even once the new system is operational, the current radio system will remain functional for communications once units leave the stations, and as backup in case of station alerting system failure. 


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