As a result of April 4th's police slayings in Stanton Heights Pittsburgh City Council has prepared recommendations to increase police officer safety. The Special Committee of Council on Police Officer Safety was formed by Council President Doug Shields two weeks after the murder of 3 City Police Officers. With help from officers, Chief Nate Harper and Public Safety Director Michael Huss, Councilman Bruce Kraus prepared a handful of recommendations to be presented to council and the Mayor. Kraus recommends the police force get updated radios, rifles for officers, a new training facility and silent dispatch. Silent dispatch allows for an officer and the dispatcher to communicate directly without the public being able to hear via police scanners.
Council President Doug Shields says there is room in the budget for these initiatives and it is ultimately up to the mayor and the police bureau to adopt the recommendations including buying rifles for the police bureau.Thanks to a Department of Justice Grant the City has purchased 5 rifles for training purposes and plans on buying 41 more with the intent of giving each zone 6 rifles to be distributed at the beginning of each shift. Some additional recommendations are to provide an adjunct instructor core for continued training, and eliminating the requirement of 60 college credits for positions within the department. Kraus says that by allowing entry level positions to be available to those without an associates degree the city can increase its recruitment efforts and employ former military personnel who have not attended college. Kraus said that the force should start a program that rewards officers or potential officers who have associates, bachelors, or masters degree's with higher levels of pay and higher entry positions.