PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The city is taking another big step to try to protect Pittsburgh’s South Side by opening a Zone 3 police substation near East Carson Street.
Some residents and business owners shared if they think this help will reduce crimes in the area.READ MORE: Gov. Tom Wolf Vetoes Permitless Gun Bill
“It might make it safer,” said Caden Meier, a South Side resident.
“I doubt it, but anything helps,” said Rich Cupka, owner of Cupka’s Cafe 2.
The new substation will be in a former police station that is attached to a city fire station on South 18th and Mary streets.
Officials said officers will work at the substation when they’re typically flooded with calls like weekends instead of traveling from the main Zone 3 office in the city’s Allentown neighborhood.
The move comes after the nightlife on East Carson Street took a turn during the summer.
“The perception of South Side has diminished because of all the crime, shootings, riot-like atmosphere,” Cupka said.
Wednesday’s announcement from Mayor Bill Peduto’s office and Pittsburgh Public Safety said officers will be able to respond more efficiently, and they will be more visible and accessible.
Meier is hopeful this will help the community he’s called home for two years.READ MORE: Charges Against Cletus Lee, North Braddock Mayor-Elect, Withdrawn
“It’s an all right idea if they do it right. I think the police presence down there has been better for the bars as far as what was happening,” Meier said.
Cupka doesn’t think this move will reduce violent crimes.
“We’ve had 40 to 50 cops down here a weekend and things are still jumping off. If the police aren’t allowed to police, it doesn’t matter how many or where the police stations are at,” said Cupka.
Traffic restrictions that were put in place on East Carson Street to improve safety were recently lifted. Parking is still prohibited Friday and Saturday nights between 10th and 18th streets.
Many people just want the South Side to move in the right direction.
“Less crime, less shootings, less riot-like atmosphere, more business, more availability, more parking,” said Cupka.
“I love living in South Side. It didn’t really change anything for me. I think the perception, as for this area, changed quite a lot,” Meier said.
The city said construction to renovate the building has started and it’s expected to open sometime next year, thanks to funding through the American Rescue Plan.MORE NEWS: Chicago-Area Family Still In Shock After They Hired Home Improvement Contractor Via HomeAdvisor, Only For The Contractor To Smash Up Their Property
The city is planning to open another substation in Homewood next year, and police hope to open substations in each of the six police zones.