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Police Making Progress In Stopping Fights On South Side

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Fighting on the South Side is a familiar scene – and is the focus of numerous complaints by people who live, and work, in the area.

Police say, while it's impossible to stop all of the incidents, they have been making progress.

What started as a fisticuffs on the sidewalk soon rolled out on the street -- stopping traffic on East Carson -- while the mayhem continued, despite the efforts of some to stop it. Something that unforatnuely residents like Sheryl Strobl have grown accustomed to over the years.

"You hear it yes you do," Strobl said. "But you try to roll over and go back to sleep."

Police who are seen arriving in a video of the fight -- say they were on the scene within three minutes of the 911 call, but made no arrests.

"The fight had dispersed and the participants had left the scene," Pittsburgh Police Lt. Larry Scirotto said.

But police say incident like that are much more rare since they started so-called saturation patrols on Friday and Saturday nights. An additional compliment of up to a dozen more officers have reduced crime and calls for service by one-third.

"The increase presence has had an effect in our citizen and police encounters and it's diminishing that abhorrent behavior in the corridor," Scirotto said.

But as long as there's alcohol and late night partiers -- police concede they'll never put an end to street corner fights.

"I think we have an obligation to change the culture of conduct but you're always going to have isolated incident," Scirotto said. "At this time there were police three blocks away dealing with other issues and you can't be everywhere all the time."

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