ShareThis Page
Pittsburgh establishes public safety fund after outpouring of support |

Pittsburgh establishes public safety fund after outpouring of support

| Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:42 p.m
Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle of the Hill District said the city has received numerous offers of donations to support the Public Safety Department in wake of fatal shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

One person sent a $20 bill in a hand-written envelope addressed to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

A high-tech security company offered to keep a close watch on the internet for threats against the city and its residents.

Corporations and individuals have pledged donations.

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday created a special trust fund in response to an outpouring of offers following the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting, in which four responding police officers were injured. All say they want to support the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department, according to Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle.

“This will be a special trust fund held at the Public Safety Department that will be able to support training, equipment, things of that nature,” said Lavelle of the Hill District, who chairs council’s Public Safety Service Committee. “People can reach out to the city now, and we have a means to accept their donations.”

Mayor Bill Peduto said people have offered cash donations and in-kind services, such as scouring the internet for threats. Neither he nor Lavelle knew how many offers have come in or the amounts of the offers.

“The generosity of the public through this event is their way of trying to do something in order to be able to help,” Peduto said. “In Pittsburgh we understand that when something bad happens, as Mr. Rogers told us, look for the helpers.”

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said donations to the fund would be used exclusively for public safety training, equipment and supplies. Donations can be mailed to Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh, 400 City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, 15219.

He said the department will not accept donations for officers injured during the Tree of Life shootings.

Donations for the officers should be mailed to the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union, 1338 Chartiers Ave., Pittsburgh, 15220.

Council unanimously approved creation of the trust fund during a preliminary vote. A final vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

Peduto said the city regularly accepts state and federal grants for public safety services. He said the city had to create the trust fund to accept individual donations.

Pittsburgh and community organizations created a similar fund for a monument honoring three city police officers killed in 2009 during an ambush at a Stanton Heights home. Peduto said money in that case went to the fund and not the city.

“Just overall the trust fund will be established to be able to make sure Pittsburghers are safe,” Peduto said.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, or via Twitter @bobbauder.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.