Rep. Benham gets answers about State Police on E. Carson Street
Last updated 7/21/2022 at 10:29am
In response to a question from a South Side resident at the July South Side Planning Forum meeting concerning E. Carson Street safety, State Representative Jessica Benham stated in an email she had an opportunity to speak with a Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) liaison.
"From his report to me, the state police are experiencing some labor shortages, just like the Pittsburgh police are, while at the same time their responsibilities have increased as rural municipalities disband their police forces and rely solely on the state police for patrol and criminal investigation. Roughly 2/3rds of municipalities in Pennsylvania (covering 82% of PA's landmass, primarily in rural areas) have defunded and disbanded their local police," she wrote.
"To address these issues, the state police have a new Academy planned, which has not yet begun instruction. On the legislative side, I will note that we are seeking ways to more sustainably fund the State Police, given the demands that are being placed on them. There is also currently a statutory cap on the number of state police officers, which I favor raising in order to allow the state police more operational flexibility to respond to requests like those from the Pittsburgh police."
Rep. Benham concluded, "Because ECS is the jurisdiction of Pittsburgh police, state police can only assist following an official request from the Chief to the PSP Commissioner. As (Zone 3) Commander Fisher noted, the PSP has generally been willing to supplement Pittsburgh police upon request, though as my liaison there noted, the ability to continue to do so is impacted by operational flexibility and their other commitments across the state."