While on one hand the new administration spends taxpayer money trying to find out why new business has little interest in moving to Pittsburgh, and at the same time the other hand pushes away the law books, slaps moral codes aside, and digs deeply into the pockets of helpless businessmen who are already stuck in Pittsburgh.
This does not take a brain surgeon to figure out: When you screw over current business, new business is tougher to get, and current business is tougher to retain! Where did the mayor get his degree, and in what?
Mayor Ravenstahl SHOULD have immediately disbanded the group of outlaw officers, who work private protection jobs on private contract, "off duty" (but in city uniform, and who can tell they are off duty? - which is the whole point that enables this protection racket). INSTEAD, the greedy political part of our new mayor-by-default has decided to join INTO this racket, and has given it his SANCTION, for, in a manner of speaking, a "cut of the action", that is. I say manner of speaking, since he did not take this cut of the illegal action from the officers - which might have affected the FOP support in the next election, instead the city has placed an additional TAX (they call it a "management fee") on the very businesses who have no doubt been leaned on to use these uniformed criminal actors as guards at usurious rates, when these same businesses could hire legally licensed and bonded uniformed guards (many who are highly trained retired policemen or military men) for FAR LESS MONEY, and, more importantly, with less legal exposure for themselves.
Generally, a corporation or individually owned business is exempt from civil liability under the Civil Rights laws, and as a point of law, can not even be prosecuted or legally charged with violation of a person's civil rights - but a corporation or individual who hires ANY civil servant in uniform that has police powers, that protection is GONE! In cases where a legal guard acts within his legal scope of power, the employer is NEVER liable for tort action under the civil rights laws, but where the same employer uses (even in states where such work is legal - in Pennsylvania it is NOT) off duty police, particularly in uniform, legal liability for HUGE civil rights claims can and does flow through to some employers.
So, if you believe, as I do, that the City of Pittsburgh is committing not only criminal actions, in sanctioning and not stopping this long tolerated police protection racket, and that also they have increased the legal risk to the very employers that have more than likely been pressured to use their illegal "off-duty" contracted guard service, paying a shamefully overpaid rate .... SPEAK UP!
I would welcome comment posted here from competent legal professionals and/or security agencies that are not illegally owned by current policemen with arrest powers.
Where is the District Attorney on this? Sitting on the sidelines, like a good Democrat, watching his fellow law enforcement professionals (HA!) wallow in the trough.
The laws are quite clear on this matter, no sheriff, police officer, county detective or constable may in any way contract his/her services as a guard, watchman, patrolman or any of the similar duties outlined in the Private Detective Act - the only exception being a constable that may get paid for watching polls.
Since there is an organized movement within the Pittsburgh FOP and Pittsburgh Mayors office to enable officers to work off duty in uniform, I say that there is an illegal police protection racket operating within the city, that fleeces bars, business owners and others of MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, and puts them at higher legal risk for action under the Civil Rights laws.
The baseball team is not the only group that should carry the name "Pirates"... as far as this legal analyst is concerned.
Mayor, FOP heads, Mr Sheriff, Mr District Atty: If you disagree with my assertion, why are you afraid to speak up?? I invite you to comment.
Or are you all going to continue to hide behind the great wall of silence?
If so, remember what happened to the Berlin Wall, when the citizens got up their nerve: How long will it be until this becomes an issue in "da Burgh" that you think your gang owns?
How many more millions of dollars of lawsuits will the City pay out of taxpayer funds, before the taxpayers realize that if there were legal private guards doing this work, as there should be ... those lawsuits would be paid completely by the legal detective agency's insurance carrier. Talk about stupid?
You political "leaders" and your crony uniformed sheriff and police enforcers must really think the residents of our town have "kick me" stamped in invisible ink on their foreheads!
Suckers, arise and put a stop to this greed and madness, call or write the mayor and the D.A.
or, just continue to be duped: your choice.