Pittsburgh police to get domestic violence unit with $500K grant | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh police to get domestic violence unit with $500K grant

Megan Guza

A Pittsburgh police unit focused solely on domestic violence is in the works thanks to a $500,000 grant from the local Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation.

Legislation to accept the grant was introduced before City Council on Tuesday, said Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto.

The money will pay for the domestic violence unit and supplement an existing domestic violence detective with a dedicated sergeant, detective specialist and civilian clerical employee, officials said.

Peduto said the grant will enhance the city’s “services and responses to victims in desperate need of our help.”

Pittsburgh police respond to more than 13,000 domestic violence calls each year, and about 1,500 result in an arrest.

Domestic violence calls generally trigger a screening process used to identify victims who are at a high risk of being killed by a partner or ex-partner. Officials said police administer about 1,400 screenings annually.

Beyond the nuts and bolts of creating the specialized unit, the grant will also go toward expanded data collection and processing, as well as national training and community outreach projects. McNulty said the city will work with advocates at the city’s Women’s Center and Shelter to implement the unit.

The Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation is part of the Hillman Family Foundations, focusing its grants specifically on human and social services, environment and conservation and health and medicine.

The five years of funding is set to take effect Jan. 31.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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