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EAST PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — During a recent borough council meeting, it was decided that the East Pittsburgh Police Department would be dissolved.
An officer said the force will dissolve on Dec. 1 and state police will take over law enforcement duties.
A spokesperson with state police says troopers will patrol the borough and respond to all calls in East Pittsburgh. State police will also answer all 911 calls from the borough.
“The PSP provide full police services for political subdivisions that are without the protection of an organized police department and will respond to all calls for police assistance. In the event, that the citizens of any political subdivision find themselves without police protection, for any reason, the PSP are obligated by law to provide the necessary police service,” state police said in a statement.
Council has been debating on doing this for years because of how much it costs to keep the department running.
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However, calls for the department’s demise only grew when East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose in June.
Rose’s cousin, Kebrina Johnson, lives in East Pittsburgh.
“They need to know more that was wrong for what they did. That was my cousin that happened to,” she said.
Rose was shot and killed during a traffic stop.
Rose’s family and legal team released the following statement Monday afternoon:
“The Family of Antwon Rose as well as our legal team is of the opinion that less police presence to the citizens in the region that need assistance is never a positive thing. That said, the family’s issue with East Pittsburgh Police Department and law enforcement in general since the fateful day they lost Antwon has always been proper vetting of new police hires, more thorough and complete training of police officers serving such communities, a database for law enforcement cataloging reasoning behind termination of officers and encouragement of ‘police policing police’ — no one knows the ‘bad officers’ better than the countless excellent officers being tarnished by such heinous actions.
“As a legal team, we will explore the impetus behind the shutting down of the East Pittsburgh PD through discovery in the Federal Lawsuit once the criminal matter is concluded and civil suit resumes.”
The district attorney said the department did not have proper policies and procedures in place.
A council member spoke to KDKA-TV and said the people of East Pittsburgh should be receiving a letter next week outlining this decision.
Meanwhile, Rose’s family filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against East Pittsburgh, the mayor, the police chief and Rosfeld.
As for Rosfeld, his homicide trial is set to begin in February.