Pittsburgh police yesterday blitzed several city neighborhoods that have seen a surge of violence in recent days, seeking suspects, guns, and information in their quest to put an end to the bloodshed, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With help from probation and parole officers, city police hit the homes of known gang members and their associates in places where police believe some of the recent shootings have been retaliatory.
The police efforts were part of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime, launched last year, which aims to eliminate gang and group-related homicides, in part through coordinated “responses” to such incidents. The police response was designed to send a message to offenders that their violence won’t be tolerated, but Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant said noticeable results often take time. Police would have more success, she added, if they had cooperation from witnesses and community members who remain unwilling to come forward even as their safety is at stake. “We’re up against that street code of silence,” she said. “We’re trying to gather as much intel as we can get to the bottom of what the story is, what is driving this all of the sudden.”