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Strip District Business Owners Meet With Police, D.A. Over Safety Concerns

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Business owners, along with the Pittsburgh Police and the Allegheny County District Attorney, came together Thursday afternoon to try to make a plan to make the Strip District safer at night.

While crime has decreased 70 percent over the past decade, it still exists, and now they're trying to make changes to lessen it even further before new expansion happens.

Some of the ideas include putting more security cameras both inside and outside of the bars.

This would create a virtual checkpoint.

Pittsburgh Police officers could also be specially trained to deal with the crowds that come into the Strip District at night.

A stabbing on July 3 at Cruze Bar and the shooting of a resident's windows across the street from the Street Kings Bar this past weekend has the group anticipating what could happen.

"We thought it was about time to bring the bar owners together to talk about creating and keeping a safe neighborhood," said Becky Rodgers, of Neighbors in the Strip.

Shorty Hill manages the Street Kings Bar. Police said their investigation shows the bar didn't play a role in last weekend's shooting because it happened hours after closing time.

Still, Hill says he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep business vibrant.

"The business to step up and say this is what we're willing to do to help, cause we want to be good neighbors," said Hill.

Safety is the number one priority, as is motivating people to come to the bars and restaurants.

The District Attorney says he is on board to help out with things, like adding signage letting people know they're being recorded.

"We just want to make sure we do it right," said District Attorney Stephen Zappala, "and unlike the South Side, we're ahead of the major residential component that's going to change this area."

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