Harrisburg‘s interim police chief reiterated his passion for community policing during a panel discussion on public safety Thursday held by Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Papenfuse.
During the discussion, Chief Thomas Carter provided further details regarding the plan he presented earlier this week alongside Mayor Linda Thompson to dissolve several specialty police units in order to beef up the city’s overworked regular patrol. Under the plan, 17 officers from groups such as the traffic and street crimes units will be pulled from the chief’s office to resume regular patrols, Carter said.
“We put them back into the fold,” the interim chief said. “The basis of every strong police department is to have patrol officers out there to answer your calls, and we did not have that.”
Carter, who was appointed by Thompson after former Chief Pierre Ritter retired late last month, told the small audience at Thursday’s hearing that, while he believes such steps should have been taken as long as a year ago, he does not fault his predecessor for not making the call.