Pittsburgh launches program to build trust between immigrants and first responders

Pittsburgh launches program to build trust between immigrants and first responders

Earlier this year, Pittsburgh Assistant Public Safety Director Shatara Murphy recalled talking to two children of immigrants that reminded her why so many newcomers to the city might hesitate to dial 911.

At a community meeting, one child asked Murphy if she could stop police from mistreating her mom because of her poor English. The other asked how many people could fit in a fire truck — worrying that it would come and take her and her family away from their homes.

“We understand there is an inherent mistrust of public safety officials in the immigrant community, and it is purely from a lack of understanding,” Murphy said.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: Pittsburgh
House chairmen will only consider narrow, highly regulated medical marijuana bill

House chairmen will only consider narrow, highly regulated medical marijuana bill

Continuing their review of the issue, the House Judiciary Committee and House Health Committee held a joint hearing Wednesday on the concept of legalizing medical marijuana.

During the hearing, the committees heard from a number of law enforcement groups including the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and the Pennsylvania Chief of Police Association.

While all three remained somewhat skeptical of the concept, none of the law enforcement organizations categorically opposed the legalization of medical marijuana under the condition that the system used to implement and regulate the use of medical marijuana is strict.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Legislation requiring mental illness training for police officers, district judges anticipated for next session

Over the past several months there has been an increase in public scrutiny of police officers and their interactions with those they serve, but for some in the Capitol improving those relations is not a new concept. 

The PLS Reporter spoke with Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) about his legislation to require municipal police officers to be trained in how to identify and deal with individuals with mental health issues and his plans to reintroduce it next session.

Monday, December 15, 2014/Author: Josh Levy
Categories: News and Views

Prescription drug monitoring legislation leaves long road behind it

Bills allowing for the monitoring of prescription drugs by pharmacists and physicians have been floating around the General Assembly for more than a year, but the effort to bring them to what will be a likely conclusion this session has lasted well over a decade.

The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 1180 introduced by Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland), was moved out of the House Health Committee last week after months of legislative wrangling over competing versions of the legislation in either chamber.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Municipal police regionalization is supported, but not without incentives

Following the release of a report last week by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee on municipal police regionalization, those involved in the legislature and municipal government say there is support for increased regionalization, but not without significant incentives.

Currently, all Pennsylvania municipalities are allowed to have local police departments, but only Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton are required to provide police services.

The number of municipalities providing their own full-time police services has decreased in recent years.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views