PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh police are dealing with an increase in violent crime in the city, and many of the victims were young people.
So far in 2021 there have been 20 murders in the city and nearly 50 non-fatal shootings. According to the police, these are 80% and 90% more than at the same time in 2020.
“While this surge in violence seems to be a trend across the country, this is not our city. This is not Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police will not allow this pointless loss of life to continue. Our officials will work directly with the community to determine the cause of these crimes and prevent their occurrence, “Pittsburgh police chief Scott Schubert said in a statement.
Every day is a step for family members like Tiona Evans.
“Kenneth Harrison’s arrangements will be Monday the 26th,” said Evans. “Tyjuan Malachi’s Home Going Service will also be Saturday.”
Tyjuan Malachi and Kenneth Hairston were cousins and both were killed just days later.
“We need peace today. We need peace now. We have to stick together and be together now, ”said Evans.
The rise in violence in the city is worrying. This is also the reason why city officials and community leaders met on Monday.
Police said they had taken a proactive approach to tackling violence in the hardest-hit neighborhoods.
Community Resource Officers and Neighborhood Resource Officers from the Community Engagement Office went through several communities every week, police said. They have spoken to local residents and business owners to hear their concerns and to come up with ideas on how to make their communities safer.
City and community leaders like Tiffany Simpson said the rise in violence was related to a number of problems. They believe that young people need more job opportunities and things to do.
“There has to be something else, we don’t have any leisure centers. No schools, the schools were closed. Our church, the place of worship in Northview Heights, has closed. “
Police have also increased their presence, police said. GVI is a partnership between law enforcement, public relations, social services and the faith community created to convey and interrupt violence.
“Public safety will ensure that the police have the investigative tools, technology and resources they need right now. More importantly, we encourage the public to come forward and share their ideas, concerns and information with the police. The police can only solve crimes if everyone works together. This collaboration is key, ”said Wendell Hissrich, director of public safety, in a statement.
Pastor Michael Day of the Legacy International Worship Center said the pandemic had given people a false sense of security.
“The pandemic gave us a false sense of security because we were so busy fighting the virus that people have hurt and suffered more than we ever thought possible.”
Anyone with information about violent crime is asked to call the Pittsburgh Police Department at 412-323-7800.