South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Pittsburgh Mayor Gainey outlines his Plan for Peace


Last updated 6/8/2022 at 9:23pm

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey outlined his Plan for Peace while visiting Beltzhoover last Friday. The long-term plan is a six-prong attack on crime including policing changes, health and wellness, a healthy economy and more.

City of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey recently came to Beltzhoover to outline his Plan for Peace to reduce violence in the city.

Noting the increase in violent crime in the neighborhoods over the past months, Mr. Gainey said the Plan for Peace will better align city resources to focus on and be committed to capturing the most violent criminals.

"Today, our message to Pittsburgh's residents and visitors is that public safety is the number one priority," he said.

He added it is time to address the violence as a public health crisis that is treatable and preventable.

Mayor Gainey said there are currently about 200 people, in groups of eight to ten, in several dozen locations throughout the city causing most of the violent crime.

The Pittsburgh Plan for Peace will include action in six areas: Public Health; Right Policing; Person-Centered Support; Community Partnerships; A Healthy Economy; and, Data and Evidence.

"By addressing violence through a public health lens, we are going to be able to expand our capacity to intervene to prevent violence and harm, to care immediately for those who are harmed, to contain the harm so that it does not spread to others and to seek out the root causes to prevent future harm," Mayor Gainey said.

He continued that a public health approach to eliminate violence will not replace nor conflict with law enforcement, but will require a wide range of strategies.

Right policing policies are expected to build trust and credibility between police and the communities they serve.

There will be a short-term focus on specific locations where violent crime is concentrated and prioritize street level deterrence and arrest of repeat offenders. They will be working to create a culture within the police bureau that fosters and emphasizes community relationships.

The city will be brining in an outside consulting firm to assess and evaluate current staffing levels to determine what is best practice with nationwide standards.

The range of strategies needed to create safety for all, the mayor said, includes the presence of people trying to confront life threatening violence, but it also means widening the range of responsibility to provide the appropriate care necessary for each member of society.

"It assures that the path to peace and well being is high quality, credible, visible and within reach to every resident," Mr. Gainey said.

He said they are committed to focusing on community relationships through partnerships with organizations, schools and business organizations through the Office of Community Service.

A healthy economy is also necessary. He noted "when we provide jobs, we take guns off the street of our children."

By creating a healthy economy, low income and high-risk communities have the access and resources they need to succeed, he added.

Data and evidence tracking will be used to measuring the approach to determine where changes need to be made. Data will be used to trace problems to their root cause and align resources correctly.

"Our plan for peace will not produce results overnight, because it's going to take all of us," Mayor Gainey said.


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