Pittsburgh City Council unanimously okayed $200,000 in contracts with the non-profit groups Pittsburgh Community Services and One Vision, One Life to provide social services to gang members in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime (PIRC) was proposed in 2008 and Council originally authorized $200,000 for planning. Council President Darlene Harris says not all of that money has been used and this new grant is to get the initiative implemented.
"I'm encouraged that this possibly could help. Any tool that we can utilize is another way to work with young people and hopefully reduce crime."
Harris says it's been proven to work in Boston and she hopes it will be successful in Pittsburgh.
Council passed the measure only after an accountability amendment was added by Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak ..“We need this program to get off the ground. We have authorized nearly a half a million dollars for PIRC over two years. Its time to get serious about protecting our neighborhoods. We need to know how the funds are being spent and what impact PIRC is having on our neighborhoods.”
The measure requires the PIRC administrator to provide quarterly reports with details information on the program's activities and next steps for implementation..