South Side Businesses Frustrated With Off-Duty Security Plan
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A plan to send extra off-duty officers to patrol Pittsburgh’s South Side has been cut out.
The idea called for extra security near the bars and restaurants.
However, one local lawmaker said it doesn’t make sense to go through with the idea because the police department is being investigated.
Some bar and restaurant owners want to change the way off-duty security details are handled in the South Side.
They have a plan, but their request is falling on deaf ears.
Police, working off-duty as security, post-up outside several establishments. It’s a deterrent to the sometimes rowdy crowd marching along Carson Street. But the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association was hoping to get those officers moving.
“Carson Street would be set up into five different corridors, broken up into two or three section blocks. Inside that corridor, the detail officers, along with the on-duty officers would patrol that area,” South Side Bar and Restaurant Association President Papareilla said.
Papariella said the organization pays around $286,000 a year for the 20 off-duty officers to work the details.
The proposal is simply to use the resources they already have, by moving the officers from the doorways of bars to a proactive patrolling of the area on foot.
Papareilla said Public Safety Director Mike Huss turned down the idea, which owners hoped to start in May.
“The decision I was told was that it was just cancelled. I was given no reason,” Papareilla said. “Everybody loves the idea. So, we’re just confused as to why it’s not allowed to be implemented.”
The association said the old method simply isn’t working and says it’s time to change the way things have been done for the last two decades. The owners are so disappointed with the quick rejection that they’re determined to find their own solution.
“Currently we’re debating whether we should even keep the detail system as it stands or do we want to go in a different direction at this point. We’re not sure,” Papareilla said.
Things may change as early as this weekend. Some owners are so angry they are considering cancelling their security detail this weekend.