Pittsburgh police to start new domestic violence unit

By Terri Hill | January 15, 2019

On Jan. 31 the Pittsburgh police will have a new investigations unit focusing on domestic violence cases thanks to $500,000 in funding from the Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation.

“Pittsburgh police officers respond to thousands of domestic violence calls every year, and this generous grant from the Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation will enhance our services and responses to victims in desperate need of our help,” Mayor William Peduto said.

The unit will increase police resources in support of victims of domestic crimes, including those who are victim witnesses in criminal cases and those who file for protection from abuse relief.

The unit will expand data collection and processing to improve investigations of domestic violence and review all domestic violence incident reports. Unit members will also meet to discuss new projects and ways to increase community outreach in the area of domestic violence.

They will also participate in national training on domestic violence best practices for law enforcement and become leaders in implementing such best practices locally.

Each year Pittsburgh police respond to more than 13,000 domestic violence calls. Also, police officers in Pittsburgh administer more than 1,400 lethality assessment each year, which is a screening tool that helps identify victims at high risk of being killed by their partners.

Legislation accepting the funding is being introduced to Pittsburgh City Council today.

The city will work with advocates at Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to implement the unit.

Nicole Molinaro, President/CEO of Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, said “We applaud the level of commitment and collaboration from the City and the Bureau of Police in developing this new initiative. We are grateful for the Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation’s leadership and for the funding provided to make all of this possible.”

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

 

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