April 10, 2021
Phone numbers and minor corrections from Saturdays version
STOP the Violence
News & Updates
The City of Pittsburgh STOP the Violence Office exists is to change the community narrative about violence and stop the spread of the disease of violence in the City. While we are concerned as well with the surrounding areas and will share solutions and events in those areas, we only have jurisdiction in the City.

This issue of the STOP the Violence Newsletter discusses violence in different ways and emphasizes solutions that you can help implement.

Table of Contents

  • Solutions: The MENS Group, Helping Men Avoid or Overcome Intimate Partner Violence
  • Success Story: Taili Thompson, a former drug dealer who is now a local success story and influential community leader
  • Something You Can Do: Make The Pray It, Say It, Stop It Commitment to pray against violence
  • Solutions: Pittsburgh's Student Police Academy, for teens interested in law enforcement
  • Solutions: STOP the Violence Prayer Team, This is About Saving Lives!
  • Media Coverage
  • Learning: Group Violence Intervention + and Conflict Resolution Training
  • Facts and Stats
  • Tips for You
  • Coming Events: April 11 and April 17
  • Community Resources

Don't forget to complete the poll at the end of the Newsletter.

Please share this Newsletter with people in your networks. We would like everyone in the City to see it because it will take all of us speaking and working together to STOP the Violence! If you're interested in helping, click HERE.

Special Training: A training and action time for interested STOP the Violence Prayer Team volunteers will be conducted on Saturday April 24 from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Take the poll (found below) to help determine whether this training will be live or virtual. If you're interested in attending, click HERE.

Partners Outside of the City: We are also seeking people and groups in communities outside of the City of Pittsburgh to learn our approaches to violence prevention and become active in speaking out and organizing against violence. If you want to get your community or group involved, click HERE.

Sign up here to receive the monthly City of Pittsburgh
STOP The Violence Newsletter

The MENS Group
Helping Men Avoid or Overcome
Intimate Partner Violence
A Success Story

"I met a man 3 years ago who was in the cycle of abuse with his children’s mother. By the time he came to me, the intimate relationship was toxic – constantly arguing and fighting which led to physical altercations. He went to jail for a short time and was court ordered to attend The MENS Group (Men Embracing Nonviolence and Safety)
George Fleming
"After about 12 weeks, the light bulb went on in his mind and he began to understand his own patterns of power and control and then ways to unlearn the habits and assumptions that got him into trouble. He spent the remaining 12 weeks with the group equipping himself to change. He is now successfully co-parenting with the mother and helps other men escape patterns of abuse." 
This success story was shared by George Fleming, a private counselor and group facilitator for The MENS Group run by the Women’s Center & Shelter. The MENS Group is a 24-session series at community locations that offers counseling and support to help men understand their situation and gain control of their feelings. It is open to any man who has thought of abusing their partner or may possess abusive tendencies. Participants receive guidance from trained experts and support from fellow group members who understand what they are feeling and help understand why. Men learn the tools they need to change their attitudes and behavior, and discover that abuse is a choice and not inevitable. With hard work and commitment, change is possible.
“Intimate partner violence is intentional violence with someone you’re close to. It is based on power and control. Men are born into power and unless we’re taught how to use that power constructively, that power just becomes a mechanism to get what we want. Research shows that 1 in 3 girls (over 33%) and 3 of 8 boys (almost 40%) have been abused or been the recipient of an inappropriate physical contact, gesture and/or abuse by age 18. The majority of these cases are considered intimate partner violence because the victim knows the person that causes the harm - it could be a family member or neighbor or friend. This isn’t ‘stranger danger’.
George Fleming with wife Linda
and grandchildren
“I got involved in this work because I’ve had family members who were victims, but who survived and are now thriving – healed and are empowered to help others. This is personal for me,” says Fleming, a Pittsburgh native who grew up in the East Liberty neighborhood and graduated from Clarion University of PA. He and his wife, Linda, live in Edgewood and he’s an elder at Petra International Ministries in Penn Hills. George is also the Program Supervisor for Allegheny Family Network’s Fathers Involved Now Program, which helps support and partner with families rearing children who have emotional and mental health needs. Having been through many transformations including dropping over 50 pounds, George knows the dedication it takes to step up and live differently. 
The MENS Group teaches that there is no excuse for any type of abuse, and such behavior is never provoked by the victim. Everyone has a right to be safe.

“If this behavior isn’t addressed, then a victim can be harmed for life, making it harder to have a healthy relationship or connect with others. If not addressed, the result could be long term trauma that becomes cyclical and /or generational. It means that we are living in a society where becoming abused and/or harmed is commonplace.

It will hinder the victim socially, relationally or even economically. The deeper the damage, the harder it is to trust and connect in any kind of setting. Hurt people hurt people. If you’ve been harmed, you’re more likely to hurt someone else. Healing is an ongoing process. Once someone has been raped and/or beaten, they learn to get by it, but I’m not sure anyone ever completely erases the internal scars caused.
Domestic abuse and intimate partner violence may include:
  • Checking your partner’s cellphone or email without their permission
  • Repeatedly texting or calling your partner multiple times per day
  • Constantly putting down or insulting your partner
  • Getting mad if your partner talks to other men/women, or getting jealous easily
  • Making all the decisions on how to spend money without involving your partner
  • Criticizing your partner’s friends or family, and discourage your partner from spending time with them
  • Experiencing frequent mood swings
  • Having an “explosive temper” or getting extremely upset at the slightest things
  • Physically hurting your partner (hitting, punching, slapping, etc.)
  • Coercing, forcing or threatening your partner to have sex
  • Putting your partner in physical danger (driving drunk, abusing drugs or alcohol)
  • Demanding all of your partner’s attention and time
  • Always insisting on winning an argument, no matter what 
Fleming states that “there is a link between intimate partner violence and all other violence. To overcome the incidents of violence, we really should move towards prevention rather than arrest and incarceration. Prevention should be woven into the fabric of our churches, our community centers, our synagogues, and the places where people gather, especially so that young people can be touched and taught what is right and wrong.

“My message to Black men is that it’s time to man up. Take accountability and responsibility for our actions and our communities. And for the sake of our babies, we must address community and individual violence. If we don’t address this and do it soon and systemically, we’ll just keep killing ourselves. We’re doing this to ourselves to us and to our sisters. Men need to call each other to task, men to men. If someone in a group of men says something overly sexual about a woman, another man needs to speak up and say ‘don’t you know that you’re objectifying a woman. We don’t want to look at our sisters and other females like that.’ There needs to be some accountability."
George Fleming and other men praying with Police Chief Scott Schubert
“For a long term solution, I’d like to set up focus groups or healing circles throughout the community where people can just share their experiences in a judgment free or blame free zone, with trained facilitators. If anyone is interested, please contact me. This would help normalize getting help. We do it for addiction issues, why not for violence issues?

“A man can come to us anonymously, just call the hotline - 1-412-687-8005 - describe your situation and you will be connected with the WCS Men’s Department and to a group close to where you are located.”

To get connected with The MENS Group or for questions, consultations, training, and/or other services, call the Women’s Center and Shelter at
412-687-8017 extension 340.

Fleming is also available for private counseling through C & G Training and Consulting LLC. Contact him at 412-526-9325 or Eldergjf8@aol.com.

NOTE: Anyone (female or male) who is concerned with their immediate safety should call Women’s Center and Shelter’s 24 hour Hotline at 1-412-687-8005 or text to 412-744-8445 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. 

From outside of western Pennsylvania, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Success Story:
Taili Thompson

From running the streets
to raising a family, reducing violence and helping returning citizens

“I believe that the only way to reduce violence is to go to the problem for the solution. I mean, involve people who once caused destruction in their community and have found new ways to live and enable them to work at rebuilding those same communities,” says Northside native and Pittsburgh inspiration Taili Thompson, now Director of the Violence Prevention Office at Operation Better Block (OBB) in Homewood. Thompson was headed in the right direction as a teenager. As a senior, he was a member of Perry Traditional Academy’s 1991 state champion basketball team (pictured, above), then completed one year at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
Part of the Problem: In spite of his early success, Thompson has been impacted by violence on the Northside since before he was born. He says his grandmother was murdered in 1965 over a dispute with a neighbor who didn’t want to live near a Black woman. Three decades later on Jan. 1, 1997, Thompson’s brother was shot and killed in front of his childhood home. After becoming worried about employment prospects and student loan debt, Thompson began to be involved with some of the ‘negative activities’ in his community and attempted a career as a drug dealer. At the time of his brother’s death, was serving time in New Jersey for smuggling heroin.
Finding a Mentor: After returning to Pittsburgh from prison, he worked for a temporary help agency doing housekeeping at a hospital. “After being fired, and not seeing any other options, I started drifting back to my previous life. But God was with me and, in the early 2000’s, I met Richard Garland (pictured, right), who headed the former One Vision One Life street violence interruption organization. Garland’s solution was to help people affected by violence to rebuild their communities. Thompson was one of the individuals Garland helped. Garland, now assistant professor of public health at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Violence Prevention Initiative in the Center for Health Equity said: “Taili came to me as someone looking to make a change in his life. From the outset of our relationship, he has been a steady learner. He has been committed to ending violence in our communities since I first approached him. As a matter- of- fact he was the one who came up with the name One Vision One Life.”  Said Taili: “At the time I was still involved with the negative activities, but I felt like this was an opportunity for me to do something different, take a chance, hoping to repair some of the damage I may have done in my community.”
Working for something greater:  In Thompson’s view, “reducing violence isn’t that complicated. We need to slow down and understand that keeping people alive is the key. You do this every day by occupying people’s time with things that can give them life. What kinds of activities can we give kids that they can really get into and believe in and at the same time occupy their time, since idle time is the devil’s playground? Once you have the right activity and occupy those days, then days turn into months and years and eventually people grow out of that 15 to 30 year old window into a less risky time in their life. Providing an effective alternative is our job, whether it’s work or school or family or some other constructive goal.”
“When you find a purpose greater than yourself, you know that the person is in position to really transition from the person that was part of that revolving door to someone who is ready to do what’s necessary be better for himself and a positive force in the community. We have to help people find that purpose. 
“For me, it was my son, Taili Jr. (pictured, above). When I found out that I was going to be a father, I made a decision that, from that point forward, regardless of the circumstances I was in, I would never do anything that would cause him to have to visit me inside of a penitentiary. Once I found a purpose, everything was easy, even though it was tough physically and mentally. My purpose was there whenever I came home after work or took him somewhere.  I got heavily involved with youth sports because my son was an athlete, he’ll be 16 in May and baseball is his primary sport.”
Part of the solution:  After meeting Garland, Thompson’s life started changing and he found a purpose in preventing the same violence that he was exposed to as a child. He has since then earned an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies from Community College of Allegheny County and a BA degree in legal studies from Point Park University. He spent 10 years working with One Vision One Life and 3 years as Program Manager for the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime. Taili is recognized as a leader in this region and respected throughout the community. His work has centered around changing community norms regarding violence.

“When guys first come home from prison, they all have good intentions. No one comes out and says ‘I can’t wait to go back.’ We need to give him the ability to serve and that service will be what drives him. He will get joy out of helping other people and will find the purpose greater then himself. 
“I ask returning citizens who they disappointed most when they were incarcerated. I get them to tap into that need to make it right for that person who is disappointed. People become self-consumed, inside out shells and just worry about ourselves. Once you care more about someone else, then you don’t even care about yourself, it’s all about doing for someone else. You’ve found a purpose.

“With the right purpose, you find a way to make it through. You continue to focus on that purpose and on the process that I had to go through. For me, it was getting back involved with education. After Richard gave me a chance at One Vision One Life, I had the opportunity to change my daily routine and get education back in my life, so I enrolled in CCAC and focused on my purpose and realized that eventually they would connect. Getting the education would enable me to get where I wanted to be for my purpose.

“If you find someone who comes home and doesn’t have a purpose, he’ll find himself back in trouble. It’s that simple."
Solution: Youth Opportunities Development. Thompson founded Youth Opportunities Development in 2012 with the mission to prevent violence and develop young leaders in communities that had high exposure to violence. With Thompson as Executive Director, YOD provided street outreach and violence interruption for the City of Pittsburgh for several years.  Thompson is now a board member and YOD continues helping at risk youth in the Clairton area. To assist YOD in any way, contact them at 412-212-0305 or see their website: www.yodpa.org/
He was married in 2020 to Tamara Thompson (pictured, left), a new officer with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Mr. Thompson is currently giving back to his City and developing solutions through a variety of community building and violence prevention projects. Some of them are described below.

Solution: Operation Better Block. Executive Director Jerome Jackson recruited Thompson to join Operation Better Block as Director of their Violence Prevention Initiative in 2020. At OBB, he is in charge of assisting the City with its Group Violence Intervention strategy, developing and utilizing new technologies to promote the use of services available to at-risk individuals and returning citizens, and tracking results.
He came to OBB after spending 4 years as the first manager for the Allegheny County Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention. “At OBB we now have virtual support groups for returning citizens every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to noon. We’re now trying to help juveniles who were sentenced to life in prison to follow the state processes to apply for parole.  Anyone can get involved. They can call me.”
“We always need more people who are close to the areas we’re trying to serve, who want to help and know people in the community. We then equip them to serve people in their community.” Any community group or individual that wants to impact violence and use the tools is encouraged to contact Thompson at 412-980-2776
Solution: Think Tank. The Elsinore-Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice (the name reflects both Hamlet’s grim prison-like Elsinore castle and Bennu, the Egyptian symbol of rebirth) began inside the now closed Western Penitentiary from the work of some Duquesne University professors and students. They started meeting in order to form relationships and try to understand why people were in jail. The think tank designs programs which apply concepts of restorative justice to heal broken relationships in communities harmed by crime. This process brings victim, offender and community together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offense and its implications for the future. Life Sentences: Writings From Inside An American Prison, a book of reflections from Think Tank members was published in 2019. The book can be found HERE.
A key issue identified was housing. For a returning citizen, finding a stable housing situation is the first step in being successful and not returning to prison. Existing housing options weren’t really effective. Think Tank members told horror stories about substance use and abuse and improper behavior in some transitional housing facilities and about the lack of empathy by staff. 
Members of the Think Tank are now raising support, recruiting partners and searching for properties to be used as a transitional housing facility known as House of Life. Unlike existing facilities, this project was conceived by the returning citizens, will be controlled by returning citizens and their partners, and many services (recovery, mentoring, job leads, etc.) will be provided by returning citizens. Click HERE for a video about this project. 
The Think Tank meets at Duquesne University every Friday from 8:30 to 10:30 am to discuss the challenges of reentering citizens and envision solutions. Anyone interested in helping find and implement solutions can become involved by sending an email to elsinorebennuthinktank@gmail.com.  
Solution: NewEra412.com App. Thompson and Think Tank members enlisted a group of Carnegie-Mellon University students to assist with the development of the NewEra412.com computer application to assist in creating a place to find services of use to at-risk populations. All services offered on the app have been verified. The app was launched in September of 2020 and has had over 5,000 of views already. “I know a number of people who have utilized training, employment opportunities mentioned on the app. I know at least 4 guys that used the pardon program, which connects people with coaches that can help them with the pardon process.” I send resources constantly to all of the app users. Take a look HERE.

The app even has a private section which can track case management by outreach workers. Any community group or individual that offers a service to high risk or reentering citizens, or attempts to impact violence and wants to use the tools that Thompson has created is welcome to call him at 412-980-2776. Donations to maintain and expand this work can be made to Operation Better Block.
Solution: Allegheny County Anchored Reentry (ACHR). ACAR is a collaboration of all agencies providing services to returning citizens in western Pennsylvania. Thompson is part of the leadership team with Tamara Collier (pictured, left) from the US Attorney’s Office, and several others. Everyone interested should be involved. An information sheet can be found HEREThe next ACAR quarterly meeting is Friday April 23, 2021 at 1:00 pm. If you’re interested in attending or for further information, contact Tamara Collier at: Tamara.Collier@usdoj.gov.    

According to Collier, “Taili’s reentry work is invaluable to our region. A true commitment to preventing recidivism requires a wholistic approach to supporting individuals returning to their communities and an ability to consistently meet individuals where they are. It also requires a full understanding of and effort toward providing and/or connecting individuals with the resources THEY need to move forward versus what you may think they need to do so. Taili Thompson does this and much more on a daily basis.” 
Solution: Foundation of HOPE. In 2021, Thompson was elected to the board of directors of Foundation of HOPE, a nonprofit that provides aftercare services for returning citizens, Allegheny County Jail chaplaincy and pre-release services, and adult and youth diversion programs. “Taili has invaluable lived experience and a unique community perspective that is needed in this city and on our board.  We are honored to have him with us,” said Executive Director Jody Raeford (pictured, right).

For more details on Taili Thompson’s incredibly inspiring life, see a 2005 feature from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  It can be found HERE

Mr. Thompson can be contacted at tthompson@obbinc.org or 412-980-2776.
Something You Can Do:

Make the Pray It, Say It, Stop It Commitment
Violence takes many forms -- guns, knives, fists, even words on social media. Some violence is far away, like the mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder. Other violence is close to home, like violence in the streets and violence in households.
Psalm 11:5 in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, states: “The LORD tests honest people, but despises those who are cruel and love violence.” While the causes of violence are many and the solutions may vary, you can take the first step by praying against violence.
The STOP the Violence Office is encouraging prayers against violence at every opportunity during 2021. 
Can you make the Pray It, Say It, Stop It Commitment and pledge to name the problem of violence every time you pray this year? If you can make the commitment, just let us know by completing the poll below.
Your prayers can be part of the solution. Let’s Pray It, Say It, Stop It.
I will agree to the Pray It, Say It, Stop It Commitment:
Yes! I will pray myself and/or with my family and/or house of worship
No. I can't at this time
Pittsburgh Student Police Academy (SPA)
Coming Summer of 2021
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police sponsors an opportunity for High School students in the Pittsburgh community to become closely acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of the Police Bureau. The Pittsburgh Student Police Academy brings the police and Pittsburgh’s high school community closer together in a setting that offers a sample of police training to each participant.
Applications are being accepted for the summer session of the Student Police Academy (SPA) until Friday, June 18, 2021.  The academy is open to all interested rising high school students in grades 9-12, whether they live inside or outside of the City of Pittsburgh.
Classes will be taught virtually from 6:00 to 8:00 pm starting Tuesday, June 22, 2021 via Microsoft TEAMS. The SPA meets weekly for 8 weeks. The academy exposes students to some of the experiences they might have just as if they were cadets training at the Pittsburgh Police Academy to be police officers.  

According to John Tokarski, SaferTogether Coordinator and facilitator of the SPA: “a student who enrolls in our academy should expect to leave with at least three wonderful experiences!

“First, students will better understand the breadth of education, understanding of policy and
Above: Graduation day from a previous
Student Police Academy
importance of relevant statues that factor in the various decisions that police officers must make on a daily basis...often within a split second.
“Second, teens will have a forum to meet and get to know police officers from our Police Bureau's various divisions (uniform, detectives, bomb squad, S.W.A.T., vice & narcotics, K-9, etc.) simply as human beings...and vice-versa!
“Finally, it will expose students to potential careers in criminal justice and/or as first responders. Those careers could be with the Pittsburgh Police, or in a county, state or federal law enforcement agency or any other of the many other areas of criminal justice, including forensic science, law, and others.”

The Application form and Permission Slip (pictured below) can be found HERE.
Please direct any questions to John Tokarski at 412-432-8674 or john.tokarski@pittsburghpa.gov
STOP the Violence Prayer Team
"This is about saving lives!"
“I believe that prayer changes things and the more people praying for the same things, the better’” said the Reverend Cornell Jones, the City’s Group Violence Intervention Coordinator and founder of Iron Cross Ministries.

He states that “I’m excited about the level of participation by Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities in anti-violence activities. That involvement takes many forms, including resource sharing and the newly established STOP the Violence Prayer Team.” The Prayer Team was announced in the February STOP the Violence Newsletter (which can be found HERE) and now has over 50 participants. 

“I think there have already been a few miracles as a result of people praying. There have been a few situations where the fuel and the fire were together in the same place and things didn’t explode!” said Rev. Jones.

He reports that “I want to reach out to more congregations so we can all work together to keep our communities safe this summer. There’s a role to play for everyone who believes in prayer. This is not about politics or the police, it’s about saving lives. I believe that the prayer effort can help save lives. And this is just the beginning of what the faith community can do, a lot more is possible.”
Rev. Cornell Jones

The STOP the Violence Prayer Team needs you. If you can help in any way, or want more information for yourself or your house of worship, please send us an email by clicking HERE.

A training for active and prospective STOP the Violence Prayer Team members will be conducted on Saturday April 24 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. 

This will be conducted live and/or virtually, depending on the preferences of the participants. 
If you are interested in attending, please:

(1) complete the poll below AND

(2) click HERE to send us an email saying you want to attend. 

Thank you.
Preferences for the Prayer Team training on April 24:
Virtually only, it's the only way I would participate
Virtually or in-person
In-person only, it's the only way I would participate
Media Coverage:

Black Pittsburgh Matters Features
STOP the Violence Office

March 31, 2021

The Black Pittsburgh Matters television show hosted by City Councilmen Reverend Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle will discuss Protecting Black Women: Domestic Violence in the Black Community TONIGHT from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The program can be seen on the City's YouTube Channel and live on the Black Pittsburgh Matters Facebook page.

Guests were Lavonnie Bickerstaff, Assistant Chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Dr. Staci Ford, trauma therapist, Rhonda Fleming, Director of Education and Outreach for the Women's Center & Shelter, George Fleming, Program Supervisor & Outreach Specialist for Allegheny Family Network’s Fathers Involved Now Program and Jay Gilmer, STOP the Violence Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh.

This topic affects people everywhere, is not well understood by the general public and is something that everyone needs to know more about so they can protect themselves, their family members and their community.

The program can be seen on the City's YouTube Channel and on the Black Pittsburgh Matters Facebook page or you can see it by clicking below. Please take a look:
MARCH 24, 2021

The March 24, 2021 Black Pittsburgh Matters television show discussed Mental Health and Violence in Black Pittsburgh: How to Heal . Guests were Cornell Jones, GVI Coordinator, Antoine Bailey and Vaughn Rivers from the Reach Outreach team, Geraldine Massey and Vanessa Mayers-Snyder from the Center For Victims and Jay Gilmer, STOP the Violence Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh.

The program can be seen on the City's YouTube Channel and on the Black Pittsburgh Matters Facebook page or you can see it by clicking below. Please take a look:
January 27, 2021

The STOP the Violence Office was featured on the January 27, 2021 edition of the Black Pittsburgh Matters television show. Guests were Jay Gilmer, STOP the Violence Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, Von Madden, President/CEO of Shadow Student Athlete Development Services and member of the Group Violence Intervention Reach Outreach team, Valerie Dixon, Director of Family and Community Support at the Center for Victims and a member of the Group Violence Intervention Pittsburgh Outreach team, and Laura Drogowski, Critical Communities Manager for the City of Pittsburgh.
Click on the picture above to see the entire television show.
Group Violence Intervention +
Group Violence Intervention (GVI) is a strategy to reduce shootings and homicides in urban neighborhoods by using a three pronged strategy:

  • law enforcement in partnership with the community,
  • informed street outreach and social services to prevent violence, and
  • involved community members reinforcing community norms rejecting violence.

For additional information on GVI, including its history and rationale, see this hour-long webinar from Mayors Against Illegal Guns entitled Re-imagining Public Safety: Group Violence Intervention and Intimate Partner Intervention: Webinar. The password is: MA1Guniversity! The first half of the webinar is on GVI, the second half on Intimate Partner Intervention.

Pittsburgh’s Group Violence Intervention (GVI) violence prevention strategy was featured in the October STOP the Violence Newsletter which can be accessed HERE. The non-law enforcement elements of GVI are coordinated by Rev. Cornell Jones who can be contacted at cornell.jones@pittsburghpa.gov.
Conflict Resolution Training

If you would like more information on violence prevention and some suggestions on ways to be involved with anti-violence activities, please click on and watch the two-hour training video to the right.

Our outreach teams include violence interrupters, but there are lots of other roles to play. After viewing the training video, please let us know your thoughts and how you'd like to be involved!
Facts & Stats:

Below are selected crime statistics from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. These statistics are from the period January 1 to March 31, 2021. These only cover the City, not the areas of Allegheny County which are outside of the City.

A few statistics of note: homicides this year are almost double their number in 2019, homicides are the same as in 2020. Police zone 5 has had the most shooting incidents this year. Zone 3 had its first two homicides of the year in March.

The 26 shooting incidents and 13 homicides that we have experienced so far this year have permanently affected too many lives in our city. Each life is too valuable and our communities are poorer as a result. Preventing violence will take all of us. We need to speak out, offer alternatives, and make sure that our family members and friends know that we will do anything to keep them safe and that gun violence is not an acceptable way to settle any dispute.

If you are interested in working to change these negative statistics, please click HERE to contact the STOP the Violence Office.

What will you do to help?
City of Pittsburgh Police Zones

Tip for You:

Don't leave your car running

The following incidents appeared in the Zone 5 Weekly Crime Report distributed by the Zone 5 Police Commander in March (if you’re not on the mailing list, please ask at your next Zone Public Safety Council meeting):

03/10/21 Theft of Vehicle at 4:00 PM- A victim reported he went inside a convenience corner store and left his gray Lexus running with the keys in the ignition. Upon his return, the vehicle was stolen.

3/24/21-Theft of Vehicle at 10:40 PM- A victim pulled up in front of a local convenience store, and left their car running with keys in the ignition and doors unlocked while going inside. Upon exiting the store, the victims' vehicle was driven away by a young male.

Don't make your vehicle such an easy target. An unlocked car with the keys inside can be tempting.

Domestic Violence Help:

Violence is not an acceptable method to resolve issues between friends or partners. If there are threats, please seek help!

When in danger, call 911 immediately.

Some other resources are in the Domestic Violence Resource Guide which you can access HERE.

Do You Have Any Ideas?

The Stop the Violence Newsletter is produced monthly by Jay Gilmer, Coordinator of the STOP the Violence Office of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety.

Please send any ideas, notices or suggestions to: STOP the Violence Office.
March Survey Responses

Last month we had three polls. Here are the results:

Poll #1: I would be interested in volunteering or learning more about:

  • Violence Prevention Efforts Outside of the City 30%
  • Domestic Violence Prevention 20%
  • Greater Pittsburgh MAD DADS 18%
  • Public Safety Councils 17%
  • Other Volunteer opportunities 15%

Poll #2: Which section of this Newsletter was most interesting to you:

  • Trauma Response Team 27%
  • Police Community Engagement Office 17%
  • Teen Dating/Relationship Violence 14%
  • Coming Events 14%
  • Citizens Police Academy 7%
  • Student Police Academy 7%
  • Tips For You 7%
  • Stats and Facts 7%

Poll #3: Do you like receiving Special Updates of the STOP the Violence Newsletter?

  • Yes 82%
  • No 18%

Thank you for responding.

What can you do?
Previous Newsletters

Click on the dates below to find past issues of the City of Pittsburgh STOP the Violence Newsletter:

Coming Events

If you are aware of an anti-violence event that is open to the public, please click HERE to send us a notice or announcement. Thank you.
The following event is organized by a member of the STOP the Violence Prayer Team. For further information, please send an email HERE.
Community Resources

If you are aware of an resource that can contribute to violence prevention or reducing the impact of violence, please click HERE to send us a notice or announcement. Thank you.
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