PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — With hundreds of thousands of people expected downtown for Friday’s “Light Up Night” celebrations, the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department says it’s increasing police presence.
City officers will be joined by Allegheny County Police, State Police, Pittsburgh Public School Police and Port Authority Police, according to Pittsburgh Police Commander Ed Trapp with the Special Deployment Division and Public Safety Planning.
“It’s going to be a heavy police presence,” Trapp tells KDKA Radio’s James Garrity.
The Public Safety Department’s planning has taken into account recent violent events downtown.
On July 4, four people were shot at 7th Street and Liberty Avenue. Days later, a man was stabbed in Market Square. During the EQT Regatta in August, a part of Liberty Avenue was closed and six people were arrested after crowds of juveniles started fighting. Then, in September, a teen shot another teen outside the Wood Street T Station.
“Any juveniles that get caught up in [any fighting] will be referred to the schools,” says Commander Trapp, adding there will be a No-Tolerance Policy and nobody will be “cut a break.”
“Anybody that’s caught fighting or causing a disturbance will be dealt with,” he said.
Commander Trapp says that the possibility of a Donald Trump protest has crossed his mind, but he hasn’t yet heard of any specific plans of one.
“We’re not seeing any indication about that right now,” says Commander Trapp. “I always say my concerns end the day after whatever event is taking place.”
Listen to the full interview with Commander Trapp below:
Trapp says protesters would not have the right to interfere with Light Up Night, which is a permitted event and will already be in operation.
“Depending on what happened, we would assess it then and make decisions on that,” he said.