Homicides are rising in Pittsburgh after the city’s police department resisted the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime, a combination of outreach to gangs and other violent groups, a swift police crackdown on group members when shootings happen and the provision of social and job-related services to offer members a way out, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. There have been 44 homicides in the city, nearly as many as all of 2013, when there were 46.
David Kennedy of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who helped design the Pittsburgh initiative in 2010, told the newspaper that, “The Pittsburgh police department was absolutely the most condescending and aggressively uncooperative agency I have encountered. They would not share information; they would not provide information. They would not allow any outsiders in.” Kennedy withdrew from the program as a result. Ever since, PIRC has failed to fulfill its potential to reduce the number of bodies hitting city streets, though it has had some success in connecting people with job services and education, said City Councilman Ricky Burgess, who helped bring the program to the city. Said Kennedy of the program, “They need to blow it up and start all over again.”