City of Erie increasing police department staff to reduce crime on city streets

Local News

The City of Erie is increasing staff on the police department in an effort to better understand and reduce crime on city streets.

Crime is on the rise in the City of Erie. In a move to reduce the crime rate, the city has hired an Outreach Program Director who will work on the city’s lower east side, and they will soon hire an analyst.

Lori Pickens is on the job working to reduce crime in Erie’s east side neighborhoods.

“We don’t plan to come in and do everything overnight because we didn’t get there overnight, but I think small steps and staying committed and just being trustworthy with the community and all of our partners, that’s what brings about results.” Pickens said.

This project targets the area of Holland Street to Wayne Street and East 6th Street to East 26th Street. With this initiative up and running, the city has announced that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency approved their JAG grant application of nearly $150,000 to hire a civilian Intel Analyst for one year.

“It takes it from a street officer to somebody that has received training specifically in this field and it puts them in the drivers seat and helps us tremendously.” said Chief Dan Spizarny.

Chief Spizarny went on to explain the importance of bringing someone in that understands the analytics.

“In those processes, the overriding theme that continues is that its data driven decisions. Because of that, volumes of information have to be obtained and our resources to do that have been taxed.” Chief Spizarny said.

This position will work closely and directly support initiatives that look to strengthen the relationship between police and community.

“There is a lot to this. There is a whole lot of hands that are involved, so the more that can come along and help this train is always great.” Pickens said.

The grant will also take care of needed purchases of specialized equipment and required licenses and certifications.

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