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EXCLUSIVE: Burlington Police highlight staff cut strategies from Pittsburg

By Michael Bielawski,

The Burlington Police in their latest monthly report are pointing to the struggles of the Pittsburg Police with similar staffing cuts and mitigation strategies such as call prioritization.

“In Pittsburgh, the Police Chief is facing headcount reductions,” the BPD month Chief’s Report states. The Pittsburg department was approved for 900 officers at their historic full count but now they’ve been mandated an 18% reduction which means around 738 officers.

Burlington is in a more challenging position as BPD faced a 35% reduction in 2020 after a vote to defund police by the City Council. The report highlights that the officer-citizen ratios are less favorable in Burlington. For available officers in each city, Pittsburg has a 1:410 officer-citizen ratio vs. a 1:647 ratio in Burlington.

The report highlights what policy changes they were forced to make in Pittsburg.

It states, “The Pittsburgh chief wants to cut the agency’s call volume from approximately 200,000 calls per year down to about 50,000. For perspective, 200,000 calls for Pittsburgh means that residents call about 6% less often, per resident, than in Burlington, with 31,000 calls for 45,000 residents.”

It continues that certain types of calls in Pittsburg are no longer likely to see an armed officer respond in person.

“Calls such as criminal mischief, theft, harassment, and burglary alarms will be handled by the telephone reporting unit or online reporting,” it states.

During the late night/early morning hours of 3 A.M. to 7 A.M., the ratio of available officers to citizens for both cities starts to thin. The report states, “There won’t be a desk officer at any of Pittsburgh’s six zone stations. On some overnight shifts, there will only be 22 officers to cover the entire city—a shocking 1:13,772 ratio.”

However, Burlington is still in a more dire state as there is only a 1:15,000 during those hours.

There were also some updates regarding crime statistics. The report states, “Priority 1 incidents have been climbing steadily over the past few years. Last year’s total was significantly affected by the huge increase in overdose. So far 2024 is a bit lower than 2023.”

Priority 1 incidents mean assaults, crashes with injury, domestic incidents, overdoses, robberies, and homicides.

For the year, some categories are at or near all-time highs such as simple assault, burglaries, gunfire, larceny, and stolen vehicles.

There have already been 3 gunshot incidents for the year, the previous high by this point has been 2 incidents. There have been 233 larceny incidents, which is another high for this early in the year. Last year there were 222 incidents by this point, which was the previous high.

Simple assaults are at 37 incidents, that being a high compared to any year but 2022 when there were 43 at this point. These are incidents when a threat or attack causes minor injuries.

There have been 45 overdoses so far this year, that’s fifteen fewer than at this point in 2023. Both year and last year mark a sharp increase in overdoses, the next highest year at this point was 2022 when there were 125 by this point.

Stolen vehicles is another category - 40 incidents - that looks improved since last year when there were 73 incidents. Again, both years are a sharp increase over the previous years, there were only 24 or fewer car thefts in each of the previous four years.

The author is a writer for the Vermont Daily Chronicle

1 comentario

02 abr

Increase the police force numbers and budget for all items law enforcement radical liberals and so-called progressives out of office and install those who appreciate the necessity and work of our honored men and women in blue on the city level, and brown on the state level. We need you and support you in every way!

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