Last year, because of the demands of a few radical activists, East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s elected officials made the decision to eliminate their local police department. Now, months later, those radical activists are gone along with police.
And the locals are complaining about rising crime and a lack of police presence.
The debate about idling the department boiled over after a police-involved shooting where 17-year-old Antwon Rose was killed. Protesters, many likely from outside of the town, organized mass demonstrations claiming racism played a role in Rose’s death.
The local prosecutor leveled a raft of charges including first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter against Officer Michael Rosfeld.
A jury found him not guilty after a short deliberation, but the borough council didn’t wait for the trial. They voted to shut down the department and turn law enforcement duties over to the staties and their post… 30 miles away.
On the very first day after the department’s closure, residents noticed a big change. From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
East Pittsburgh resident Sean Andrejco stood outside a newsstand Friday evening not far from the borough’s police station, feeling that something was missing.
Pennsylvania State Police, who began to patrol East Pittsburgh full time on Saturday, were nowhere to be seen.
No cops to be seen. By residents…or the bad guys.
Indeed, decisions have consequences. Criminals feel emboldened when they perceive a lack of consequences for unlawful behavior. Hard to believe, right?
From Defense Maven:
East Pittsburgh residents gathered on Monday to express their concerns about the rise in violent crime and the lack of police officers patrolling their neighborhood just eight months after they disbanded the East Pittsburgh Police Department.
The East Pittsburgh Borough Council voted to dissolve the borough’s police department in the wake of the officer-involved shooting death of Antwon Rose.
The council notified the Pennsylvania State Police on Nov. 13, 2018 that they were going to need coverage from that agency as of Nov. 30, 2018, while they worked to come up with a long-term solution, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
When the East Pittsburgh Police Department was disbanded, city officials promised they were in the middle of talks to launch a multi-community police force that would cover their territory, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
However, residents began complaining about the lack of police presence the day after the East Pittsburgh police shut down when there was no obvious state police presence on their streets.
How bad have things become? Glad you asked. From CBS Local KDKA:
East Pittsburgh (KDKA) — A terrifying ordeal for a mother and her three children.
A drive-by shooting in East Pittsburgh last night sent bullets flying into the family’s home, narrowly missing them.
The mother says without a local police force to call, it took over an hour to get help.
The State Police Barracks In Moon now covers East Pittsburgh Borough, nearly 30 miles away…
“It’s bad here, it’s bad in East Pittsburgh,” the mother of three said.
“I think I called 9-1-1 maybe five times before they got there,” the mother said.
The single mom of three is a nurse and is afraid to go on camera.
Today, prudent East Pittsburghers should be seriously consider embracing firearm ownership to protect their homes, families and themselves.
Because obviously, the decision to shutter the city’s police department didn’t reduce the need for proactive, effective policing. Or response times faster than an hour. All disbanding the police department accomplished was to embolden the criminal class. With decisions come consequences.
Meanwhile, ignoring the proven benefits of firearm ownership and armed self-defense has consequences as well.