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South Side businesses say increased police presence and lighting have made a difference

Businesses say increased police presence on South Side have made a difference
Businesses say increased police presence on South Side have made a difference 01:56

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say they're making Pittsburgh's streets safer for visitors, and businesses on the South Side say the strategy is working.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto said police's focus on the South Side has made a difference. Businesses say more police officers have helped but so has a simple change in the area. 

Ten police officers and a sergeant have been in charge of patrolling the South Side for six months. 

"Whatever was going on before has definitely stemmed because of the police presence," said Averill Grimes, kitchen manager at Fat Heads. "They have lights on the corner so everyone feels safe. It's nice and bright down here."

Pittsburghers say the added lighting on the sidewalks has made them feel safer.

"I feel super safe in the South Side as a woman," said Elita Marchetti. "I think they've made good improvements on lights and infrastructure. For that reason, I like coming to the South Side."

Grimes said it is bringing young people back to the South Side.

"In the last six months, there's definitely been a change," Grimes said. "Now, a lot of young kids hanging out. A lot of people actually enjoying themselves down here. It's been kind of nice."

Don Miller, the manager at Copies at Carson, said the police are quick to respond if there are any incidents. 

"If there has been an instance that we have witnessed, there has been a swift response," Miller said. 

The city plans to assign 12 officers, plus a sergeant, next year to patrol the South Side area.

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