By Rick Earle
11 News first told you Wednesday that those on-again, off-again downtown county police patrols are now back on again.
“I think maybe for a few days they thought they had the full complement and decided you know maybe we’ll utilize the county police,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
After about a month of assisting city police with downtown patrols, county executive Fitzgerald said county police were told they were not longer needed last week, but days after that, in a surprise and sudden reversal, the city recalled county police.
Sources told Target 11 that the city police administration decided to end the county patrols, without consulting with Mayr Gainey.
When he found out the patrols had been terminated, he immediately stepped in and asked the county to return.
Fitzgerald said they were happy to oblige.
“We will be down there a number of weeks, probably a couple of months,” said Fitzgerald.
The mayor had initially requested county police assistance to deal with a rise in crime downtown, coupled with a growing shortage of city police officers.
Many have either left or retired, and there’s been no new academy class in two years.
Source: Target 11 Exclusive: County Executive Fitzgerald weighs in on downtown Pittsburgh patrols