PITTSBURGH, PA (December 6, 2021) - This week, Mayor William Peduto will submit to Council a resolution to authorize entry into a data use agreement with the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Center for Police Research and Policy (CPRP). This agreement allows the CPRP to evaluate outcomes of training and technical assistance for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP). This partnership is part of the "Academic Training to Inform Police Responses” grant awarded to the City by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to inform a national model for crisis response intervention team-building and Public Safety training.
The CPRP’s research and evaluation are led by Robin Engel, PhD, Director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and CPRP. Dr. Engel and the CPRP have a longstanding history of providing such assistance, including technical assistance work with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police, contributing to response to people with mental health conditions and intellectual and development disabilities. Dr. Engel explained, “It is critical to establish partnerships with Public Safety providers to safely respond to persons in crisis and to provide responders with additional training to ensure that they engage co- and alternative response teams.”
"I want to commend Public Safety Director Hissrich, Chief of Police Schubert, and OCH&S Manager Drogowski on this new effort. This is one critical piece of our new model of public health and safety," said Mayor William Peduto.
Sheila Roth, PhD, LCSW, EMT, Continuum of Support Program Manager in the City’s Office of Community Health & Safety (OCH&S), emphasized how technical assistance is critical in preparing PBP officers, AHN Urban Health team members, and OCH&S Community Social Workers for safe co-responses to crises, “This is about building a continuum of support to ensure that the right responder is dispatched to provide engagement at the point of crisis and to provide ongoing care for our community members. We know that first responders are called for myriad needs in our community. With this partnership, we will collaborate with University of Cincinnati and the International Association of Chiefs of Police to elevate community voice, provider experience, best practices, and data to create comprehensive, trauma-informed responses.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to both build and iteratively evaluate our crisis response while working with the Center for Police Research and Policy to inform training for first responders across the nation,” said Wendell Hissrich, Director of Public Safety Director. Director Hissrich expressed confidence that this collaboration will result in safer, person-centered response to City’s residents, “through this collaboration, the evaluation will inform culture change and equip Public Safety personnel with training that enables improved care for individuals with unmet needs.”
This partnership is part of the City’s technical assistance grant "Academic Training to Inform Police Responses” awarded by the BJA and the IACP to the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to inform a national model for crisis response intervention team-building and Public Safety training. This is a joint initiative between UC, Community Health & Safety, Public Safety, and the Bureau of Police.