Wilkinsburg Could Lose Police Department
WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — Wilkinsburg could lose its police department.
The police contract with the borough expired February 1.
The borough told the Wilkinsburg FOP that any new contract must contain a provision that would allow the borough to subcontract police protection.
According to the union, Wilkinsburg’s 23 police officers answer 13,000 calls a year. The borough is considering a proposal to have Pittsburgh police answer those calls instead.
It would save several hundred thousand dollars a year. The borough said it’s not a money issue, but a protection issue.
“We had a burglary in here,” Matt Smith said. “It took two hours for the Wilkinsburg police to get over here and I think that’s not right.”
Sharon Littlejohn doesn’t think Pittsburgh police will come to Wilkinsburg.
“I’ll be safer with Wilkinsburg police,” she said. “I’ve been here all my life, this is where they need to be.”
Jean Gould, a business owner, says she sees Wilkinsburg police all the time.
A deal with Pittsburgh police would leave Wilkinsburg officers without a job.
Wilkinsburg borough officials say a change is not eminent, but there was a meeting this week to talk about the issue that included Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper.
KDKA’s Jon Greiner said Harper made it known that the Wilkinsburg officers would not be a part of his force.