PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh City Council is expected to get its first look at legislation that would establish a new police substation in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh.
Councilman, Daniel Lavelle, introduced the legislation Tuesday morning.
Other council members are already on board.
“It’s a really big zone so having a substation would really be helpful, not just to Downtown residents and people that visit, also to our police force in helping them spread out officers throughout that zone,” Councilman Corey O’Connor said.
If approved, it would authorize the city to lease the Lantern Building.
The Lantern Building is located at 600 Liberty Avenue, near Market Square. It is owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The proposed five-year lease would cost $1 per year, plus an upfront security deposit of $5,000. The city would cover utility expenses.
Council members say although there would be a cost, the benefits would be worth it.
“I think it’s more of a presence, you could have more walking patrols, it’s a little easier to staff when you have some substations and also if somebody needs to get to the police station for some issues that happens, they are right there on spot,” O’Connor said.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich says the Lantern Building is in move-in condition, but would require some security upgrades before it can be occupied by Pittsburgh Police. Hissrich hopes the substation can be in full working order in time for Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night on Friday, Nov. 18.
Discussions about a police substation in the Lantern Building have been in the works for nearly a year. Downtown business owners have responded enthusiastically to the proposal.