Brackenridge police returned to work Sunday, nearly three weeks after Chief Justin McIntire was shot during a pursuit.
In the days following his death, the local police were allowed to cover the processions to the dismay of local officials.
A small number of people in the city still need help from the state police, said Mayor Lindsay Fraser.
“Prior to the loss of Chief McIntire, we worked with four full-time officers working long hours to provide our community with 24-hour local police,” Fraser wrote in in social media.
“We cannot provide 24-hour coverage seven days a week with three full-time officers.”
The district also lost part-time officer Theodore Bajack, who resigned on Jan. 1.
While the council works on a long-term solution, local officials will be closed from Sunday to Friday nights.
State police patrol the area from 10 p.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Sunday. There is no charge to the city for the service.
At the council meeting on January 5, members appointed Sgt. Mike Duffy will be the executive officer. No word or timeline has been released on how the search for a new owner will be conducted. The Council will next meet at 6pm on February 2nd.
One resident wants the county to move faster to hire additional police officers.
Tom Pendergast said it’s not the lack of protection that worries him. However, he is concerned about the burden of three district officers without support staff.
“(Harrison, Tarentum and Brackenridge) do a great job covering each other in the field,” he said. “What worries me is that the officers are working under pressure and no one has to cover a day for sickness or death. No one should do that, in any field. .
Despite the tight budget, money should not be a reason to pay for more police officers thanks to a $75,000 contribution from state Rep. Mandy Steele.
Steele announced the extent of the donation just days after McIntire’s death. He said it should be used at the discretion of the council for the police department.
“I was able to get the money to help them through this difficult time,” Steele said. “These are small things before a big loss, but I hope they can help the way forward for society.”
County funding accounts for about 15% of the police budget of $490,000.
Fraser said he is grateful to the state police for working with city officials as they come up with a solution.
“Thank you very much to everyone for showing their support for our small community,” he said. “I hope that we will continue to treat each other, and ourselves, in a spirit of love and cooperation.”