City leaders say the initiative will work in collaboration with the STOP the Violence Initiative.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The newly-announced Health, Safety and Violence Prevention Initiative will create some changes to policing and social services in the city of Pittsburgh, city leaders say.

Mayor Bill Peduto announced the initiative during a news conference Friday.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Aaron Sledge)

City leaders say the initiative will work in collaboration with the STOP the Violence Initiative and house two related offices – the Office of Community Health and Safety and the Office of Community Services and Violence Prevention.

In a news release, City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess said, “While the Office of Community Health and Safety focuses on the alternative response we can have to public safety, the Office of Community Services and Violence Prevention will be focused on how we can be more restorative in our police practices. This office will coordinate innovative, evidence-based Public Safety programs and facilitate ongoing partnerships with faith and community-based organizations.”

The Office of Community Health and Safety was created in June. City leaders say it will provide social services, public health services, harm reduction support and social work experts to assist first responders in more long-term situations.

The office will also work in partnership with Allegheny Health Network’s Center For Inclusion Health.

The Health, Safety and Violence Prevention Initiative will employ a number of staffers including a Community Engagement Specialist, a Victims Assistance Coordinator, an Overdose Prevention Project Coordinator and more.

City leaders say these new efforts will be supported by STOP the Violence funding.