Policies vary on issuing drunkenness citations in Western Pa. communities
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
How and when suburban police departments issue tickets for public drunkenness varies from town to town.
In West Mifflin, the number of public drunkenness citations has increased dramatically, from 8 in 2011 to 74 this year, according to the state Uniform Crime Reporting System.
Police Chief Ken Davies said his officers are too busy to wait outside of bars and watch for drunks.
“That's not our M.O. — not our way of dealing with it,” Davies said. “We've got enough to deal with otherwise.”
In Ross, Detective Brian Kohlhepp, police spokesman, said most of the township's drunkenness citations result from calls to 911. About 20 percent result from patrolling. His department has no policy or practice of watching bars, he said.
Carnegie Chief Jeffrey Harbin said his officers walk through bars to discourage criminal activity. His agency issued 56 citations last year and 26 this year.
“Our call volume and the number of officers on the street would prohibit (waiting),” Harbin said. “But I will tell you that our officers — on a weekend night and call-volume permitting — will walk through a bar, just to show the uniform and talk to people, maybe head off problems later.”
In Castle Shannon, Chief Ken Truver — a former Mt. Lebanon officer — said his small department lacks the manpower to watch bars, but he thinks keeping an eye on businesses known to draw crowds is justifiable.
“I have, generally, two to three officers on (a shift). I don't have the luxury of parking someone on a bar,” Truver said. “Police want to be where the people are going to be. ... Even a one-man agency is going to find where the problems occur and be there.”
— Matthew Santoni
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alle-Kiski spotlight athletes: Freeport’s Josh Beale, Apollo-Ridge’s Ashley Emminger
- Pirates sign free agent pitcher Volquez
- Century III new owner seeks to reverse vacancy trend with new theater
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Driver just misses hitting Latrobe officer
- Steelers notebook: Worilds loses sack; Big Ben gets 1st career catch
- Bengals’ balanced offense poses threat to Steelers
- Baldwin-Whitehall School Board eliminates controversial administrative position
- Penn State stymies Duquesne, 68-59
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Trafford police arrest woman selling drugs for `shopping money’