City launches Public Safety Multicultural Liaison Unit as community policing, immigration integration strategy


December 5, 2017

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety has launched its Multicultural Liaison Unit, a community policing and immigration integration strategy. 

The MLU was proposed in the Mayor William Peduto’s 2014 Welcoming Pittsburgh plan and further established through legislation introduced early this year by Councilman Dan Gilman. 

The unit is comprised of members of the Mayor’s Office, Public Safety and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, who work closely with members of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Committee to ensure consistent community input and community-driven solutions.

The MLU’s mission is to build trustworthy and sustainable relationships among Public Safety employees (first responders) and the immigrant and refugee communities through proactive and community-driven strategies. Currently, within these communities, there can be a lack of trust toward Public Safety employees. As a result, crimes and safety concerns are not properly reported; emergency medical care is not requested; and new residents are unable to comfortably integrate into their communities.

The lack of protection felt by foreign born residents has allowed this community to prioritize its fears ahead of receiving the required, and deserved, protection and service provided by the City of Pittsburgh’s Pubic Safety employees.

“Pittsburgh’s past was built by immigrants, and so will its future. This unit will be key to making sure all of those in our city feel welcome, especially when interacting with the first responders who so often are the first government faces to come into contact with Pittsburgh newcomers,” Mayor Peduto said. 

“I want to thank Mayor Peduto and Public Safety Director Hissrich for acting quickly to establish the Multicultural Liaison Unit, which was created under my City for All legislative package,” said Councilman Gilman. “By translating documents into several languages, boosting outreach efforts, and advancing cultural understanding among all public safety personnel, this unit will help officers to more effectively protect and serve Pittsburgh’s growing immigrant and refugee communities and build a safer and more welcoming city for all.”


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