Zone 4 station to stay closed
The Zone 4 police station in the West End will remain closed.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Robert J. Colville said Tuesday he didn’t need to force the station’s reopening because residents who believe they have been harmed can sue the city.
West Pittsburgh Partnership, a neighborhood improvement group represented by Councilman Alan Hertzberg, asked Colville to force the city to reopen the station that was closed Aug. 29 as part of sweeping budget cuts.
The station served 12 communities with which Mayor Tom Murphy struck an agreement earlier this year to maintain the current level of city services.
The partnership argued that closing the station broke that agreement, although the same number of officers patrol the area from headquarters on the South Side.
“West Pittsburgh Partnership is essentially asserting what is a breach of contract, and that can be adequately compensated by damages,” Colville ruled.
But Hertzberg scoffed at the notion that he or other residents could assess the financial damage caused by closing the station, saying he will recommend an appeal to Commonwealth Court.
“There is no way to sue, no way to quantify in monetary losses what a community loses when a police station closes,” Hertzberg said. “The only way to compensate for that is to put things back the way they were.”
Police officers patrolling the West End have operated out of the Zone 3 police station on the South Side since the West End station closed and the two patrol zones were merged.