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East Pittsburgh Residents Question Police Response Times After Shootings

EAST PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - There are a lot of questions about the recent shootings in East Pittsburgh. Some people are questioning how long it takes first responders to get out there.

Members of the community had split opinions on the matter.

Ken Onderick works in the area. He said state police are serving the community better than East Pittsburgh Police did.

"I see them all over the borough, all over the hillside here, down in the valley," he told KDKA outside Tri Valley Automotive where he works.

Onderick didn't see East Pittsburgh Police patrol the area like state police.

"It was pretty rare when you saw a cruiser in the area," he said.

Not everyone agrees. A woman who did not want to be identified on Collins Avenue said it took several calls to get state police to a shooting outside her home. She had bullets fly through her window.

"It's bad here. It's bad in East Pittsburgh," she said outside her home. "I think I called 911 maybe five times before they got here."

She told KDKA it took about an hour before troopers arrived.

"A girl down the street was just stabbed and killed. They just found a body a street down from me that was in a house for two weeks," she said. "Now I'm getting shot at."

The state police barracks are in Moon Township, which is the other end of the county from East Pittsburgh. According to Trooper Melinda Bondarenka, state police in Pittsburgh are responsible for covering four municipalities between Allegheny and Washington counties. This includes East Pittsburgh.

All of this is in addition to their other responsibilities. Trooper Bondarenka said they have to prioritize the emergency calls.

"When we respond, it could take us a little bit longer to get there because of the coverage area, but it also is what that trooper's function is at that time," she said from the barracks in Moon Township.

Trooper Bondarenka said they actively patrol the municipalities, and they address all calls with resources as quickly as possible.

"If for some reason we can't get there immediately, and it needs immediate attention, we rely on the neighboring police departments to come in until we get there," she said.


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