Domestic violence training proposed for Pittsburgh officers
Pittsburgh police would be trained to evaluate the risk of death for victims of domestic violence and offer them immediate access to a telephone helpline under a plan from city Councilman Ricky Burgess.
Burgess said he plans to introduce legislation on Tuesday that would require officers who answer domestic violence calls to undergo training provided by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
He said the bill was prompted by the death of Ka‘Sandra Wade, 33, of Larimer, who police believe was shot by her boyfriend on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.
“I've always been concerned about domestic violence,” Burgess said. “We have been looking at models (for evaluating domestic violence victims). The incident in Larimer certainly sped up and focused that analysis.”
Two Pittsburgh police officers answered an “unknown trouble” call from Wade on New Year's Eve, but left her home without talking to her. Her boyfriend, Anthony L. Brown, 51, of Point Breeze told police there was no problem and refuse to let them in.
Police found Wade dead in her home the next day. Brown killed himself on Jan. 2 during a standoff with police at his home.
Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said Burgess discussed his bill with Chief Nate Harper, but she could provide no further details.
Harper was unavailable on Monday.
Mike LaPorte, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, representing Pittsburgh police officers, did not return a call.
Under Burgess' legislation, police would be trained to ask a suspected domestic violence victim 11 questions to determine the risk of homicide or serious harm. If the risk is high, they would immediately offer the person on-spot access to a domestic violence helpline provided by the Woman's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.
Counselors would advise the person of warning signs that can predict escalating violence and offer information about shelters.
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, which designed the training program, reports a 60 percent reduction in severe assault when victims use domestic violence advocacy programs.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School
- It’s business, but not as usual in Pittsburgh
- Plum school officials ignoring help, advocacy group’s chief says
- Garfield business reaches out to raise $90K for fixes
- Payroll problems dog Pittsburgh police, firefighters
- Body found on North Side
- Ice cream safe to eat, federal officials insist amid listeria bacteria discoveries
- House floating along rivers will be new South Side Marina office
- Burgess’ rivals for Pittsburgh council nomination owe money to government
- Transportation challenges rife as Pittsburgh focuses on making fixes