Pittsburgh has since ages held the title of being the safest city in America. It was way back in 1816 that Pittsburgh was incorporated as a city. The population of Pittsburgh at that time was just a meager 9000 people. In 1857, the police department of Pittsburgh was constituted which consists of a chief and nine constables. The police department has evolved steadily since then. Today the department employs 900 law enforcement officers serving the people of Pittsburgh.
In line with the distinction of being the safest city in America, the police department of Pittsburgh has been working hard every day to keep it that way. The crime rates have been consistently low in the last decade when compared to other states in the US.
The Police department of Pittsburgh stands out when compared to its contemporaries as it involves itself meaningfully in serving communities. The police are actively involved with the population in conducting public safety forays, neighborhood conventions, and activities including women, children, and adults.
The Pittsburgh Police Department strongly believes in transparency in its functionality. It is the department's policy holding firmly to its belief that transparency nurtures trust. And thus, the Pittsburgh Police Bureau gives the Pittsburgh community a fair opportunity to review the policies of the department. However, policy redactions can come into play as policing can sometimes become confidential and sensitive. Some policy redaction features are:
- Confidential and internal phone numbers, internal email details and intranet web addresses which are exclusively used by the Police Bureau
- Information about victims of crime cannot be compromised and therefore transparency is minimal in this area. Similarly, ongoing investigations need a high level of secrecy to expedite a successful inquiry and incarceration of a criminal.
- Other private matters that involve the police fraternity.
Special units with specific expertise in specific tasks are incorporated into the bureau. Some of them are:
Rapid Emergency Deployment or The (RED): The Rapid Emergency Deployment Team came into being after the events of September 11, 2001. The team is trained to respond to incidents of terrorist events in the city. The team also deals with acts of civil disobedience that may erupt in the city of Pittsburgh.
SWAT: The Special Weapons and Tactics team was constituted to deal with hostage rescue situations, dignitary protection, surveillance, and high-risk warrant service.
SDD or The Special Deployment Division: This division consists of specially equipped officers who are trained to efficiently deal with street brawls, traffic issues, river rescue, impaired driving, etc.
Bomb Squad: These officers are a group of people trained exclusively by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in weapons of mass destruction, Redner safe procedures, and electronics. The Bomb Squad also constitute bomb dogs, bomb robots and SCUBA divers.
Pittsburgh Police Services To Society:
Community Safety Website:
The Pittsburgh Police have constructed a Community Safety Website [https://communitysafety.pittsburghpa.gov/Home.aspx] which acts as a tool for the community to orient itself with the policing approaches of the Pittsburgh Police. This website also helps citizens join a block watch, get real-time crime activity and alerts and report anonymous tips.
Citizen’s Police Academy: Citizens of Pittsburgh are given an opportunity in 2 distinct occasions a year to familiarize themselves with the functioning, responsibilities, and roles of the police department. However, you have to go through a detailed and rigorous background check to regulate the infiltration of criminals into the program.
Student Police Academy: Similar to the Citizen’s Police Academy, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducts a twice a year opportunity for a high school student to get a feel of what the Pittsburgh police is all about. The high school community is introduced to the police department and students are instructed on how they can help is keeping their neighborhood safe from crime.
You can contact the Pittsburgh Police Department by dialing the 311 response center. Phone calls from outside of Pittsburgh can call on 412-255-2621