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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tim Stevens, Chairman and CEO of the Black Political Empowerment Project detailed a joint safety and communications effort between the BPE and local police departments at news conference this morning.

“We view this commitment as a clear and solid statement on the part of these police departments to help assure that the public and the police will be working the from the same base of information,” Stevens said.

Part of this joint effort includes materials such as a brochure titled “You and the Police” that has been updated from an earlier version.

“It was so encouraging and refreshing and instructive to work with the police representatives we had in the development of this project,” said Beth Pittinger of the Citizen Police Review Board. “The impetus for this was to promote a much a safer environment and engagement happens with this commitment from our esteemed police departments here.”

Law enforcement leaders, including Pittsburgh’s Chief of Police, say this is an effort to make sure police and the public are informed of their rights and responsibilities. Officers will be required to sign off that they have read the brochure and some will be quizzed on its contents.

“So the officers know exactly what’s being put out there and knowing that the public has certain rights as being an American citizen and there’s rights police have while investigating crime,” said Chief Scott Schubert of the Pittsburgh Police.

The brochure will be distributed to students and at community events.

Lisa Washington