City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Specialty Units
PBP Bicycle Unit

The PBP Bicycle Unit began in 1994, with two officers assigned to patrol the central business district. Today, 17 highly trained and equipped officers provide year-round service and are an integral part of our overall community policing strategy. Being a bicycle officer is a strenuous job that requires both physical fitness and keen mental awareness. Officers go through a rigorous program and then retain their proficiency through work related cycling and advanced quarterly training. The bicycle officer's greatest assets are mobility within densely populated urban districts, high visibility and their accessibility to the public.

SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics)

The Pittsburgh S.W.A.T. Team is a support unit made up of personnel who work throughout the entire Bureau of Police. S.W.A.T. stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. This specialized team is needed to respond to situations which require equipment and trained tactics which are beyond patrols capabilities. The S.W.A.T. Team responds to on average 100 missions a year. These include Barricaded Individuals, Hostage Rescue, Dignitary Protection, Surveillance, High Risk Warrant Service, and Tactical Support to Local/State/Federal Agencies. The team fosters positive interaction with children by attending numerous community events each year.

River Rescue

Pittsburgh River Rescue was formed in 1986 by combining the efforts of the Pittsburgh Police and the Emergency Medical Services SCUBA search and rescue team. Police responsibilities of this unique "hybrid" unit include piloting all River Rescue vessels, enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth, patrolling our majestic three rivers and protecting critical infrastructure of the country's 3rd busiest in-land port. The unit's primary mission is to help prevent, respond to and mitigate all waterborne emergencies on the city's waterways. River Rescue plays a valuable role in the community as it safeguards recreational boaters and commercial vessels.

Motorcycle Unit

The Pittsburgh Police Motorcycle Unit was formed in 1909. The officers have been patrolling the City of Pittsburgh continuously on Harley-Davidson motorcycles for over 100 years. Officers assigned to the unit ride everyday of the year, regardless of the weather conditions. Side cars are mounted in the fall so officers can ride safely during the winter months. The primary duties of the unit include traffic safety enforcement and education, police escorts, traffic control and assisting with various special events and community activities. All motor officers receive extensive training in dignitary escorts and the safe operation of motorcycles.

Collision Investigation

The Collision Investigation Unit began in 1990, with three officers trained in crash reconstruction. Today, the unit has grown to over 15, highly trained and equipped officers who thoroughly investigate all crashes that involve critical injuries and fatalities. All officers are trained in multidiscipline aspects of crash reconstruction to include pedestrians, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. The unit utilizes state of the art equipment such as Total Stations, 2D and 3D animation and Black Box technology. In addition, the unit investigates all emergency vehicle crashes, assists outside agencies and promotes highway safety through education.

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit consists of nine highly trained and equipped inspectors. The primary function of the unit is to ensure that all drivers and commercial motor vehicles being operated on the roadways are in compliance with all safety regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as all state and local laws. This is accomplished through roving patrols, stationary checkpoints and assisting outside agencies upon request. An inspection is required on all commercial motor vehicles that are involved in a fatal collision. The unit uses both enforcement and education to promote highway safety.

SDD

SDD consists of city-wide support units that provide specially trained and equipped officers. These units include: Traffic Division, Collision Investigation Unit, Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Unit, SWAT, River Rescue, Impaired Driving Unit, Car Seat Inspection and Education Station, Graffiti Task Force, and the Street Response Unit. In addition SDD coordinates several highway safety grants that provide additional enforcement and education activities to help reduce crashes and fatalities on our roadways. Whether our highly skilled officers are assisting with traffic control, promoting highway safety, investigating graffiti crimes, resolving critical incidents or patrolling the waterways of our majestic 3 rivers; these officers are dedicated to professionalism and teamwork.

Bomb Squad - EOD (Explosive Ordnance Devices)

The Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad was formed in the late 1960s. Today the unit is comprised of 8 bomb technicians who receive extensive training from the F.B.I in electronics, render safe procedures and weapons of mass destruction. The unit has two bomb robots and technicians utilize state of the art technology, equipment and bomb dogs to ensure that Pittsburgh remains at the forefront of explosive detection and renders safe procedures. The unit also has certified scuba divers who can locate and render safe underwater hazardous devices. The Bomb Squad is dedicated to community interaction and participates in numerous community events throughout the year.

PBP Canine Unit

Our K-9 unit was established in 1958. Combining officers with trained canines enhances public/officer safety, expands police capabilities and improves overall department efficiency. Officers (Handlers) and qualified dogs go through an intensive 3 month training program at our K-9 Academy before being assigned to a duty location. Although dogs are trained to find illegal drugs, guns and explosives their primary job is to locate people. The K-9's are trained to track suspects and endangered persons. Lastly our dogs truly belong to two families. In addition to being a trusted co-worker while on-duty, at home they are an integral part of the handler's family life.

Weed and Seed

West Pittsburgh Operation Weed and Seed brings community members of all ages together with police to help build safer and stronger neighborhoods. Developing solid relationships between police and youth is one of its primary goals. Weed and Seed also supports several great summer and after school programs throughout West Pittsburgh. Operation Weed and Seed is federally funded and is a partnership with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the U.S. Attorney of Western PA, Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, and community stakeholders in federally designated sites.

To learn more about Operation Weed and Seed or how you can assist please call 412-255-4772.

Mobile Crime Unit (MCU) to include computer crimes

The Mobile Crime Unit was established in the 1940s. Today the unit has 14 crime scene processing detectives, three of which are latent fingerprint examiners. The unit is responsible for the processing of all major crime scenes including homicides, robberies, burglaries and sex assaults. The detectives are subject matter experts in photography, fingerprint dusting and collection of trace evidence. In addition there are three detectives assigned to the computer crimes section. Detectives are responsible for the forensic analysis of digital storage devices such as computer systems, cell phones, and flash drives.

Interagency Cooperation

Over the years, the City of Pittsburgh has played host to many large scale special events such as the Major League Baseball All Star Game, G-20 Summit, Three Rivers Regatta and not to mention the countless City of Champions sports celebrations. These events often require the assistance of multiple public safety agencies to ensure a safe and friendly environment. It is because of our commitment to interagency cooperation, coordination and communication that these events are successful and the city is often highlighted as a spectacular venue for people to enjoy.

RED TEAM (Rapid Emergency Deployment)

The acronym for RED stands for Rapid Emergency Deployment. The team's concept was developed in response to the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Many agencies across the country began implementing strategies that would better prepare them for events involving WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and terrorism.

It is the intent of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police RED Team to be prepared for response should the need arise.

Officers who are selected to train for the RED Team are subjected to numerous hours of initial training and mandatory quarterly training to develop and hone the skill sets required to be a part of this elite group of officers. The course of training includes both in-house and outside agency training.

The mission of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police RED Team is to be a highly skilled and highly trained specialized unit that can provide a quick and appropriate response to certain critical incidents such as WMD, Terrorists events, major HAZMAT incidents and Acts of Civil Disobedience.

Local jurisdictions are required to be NIMS (National Incident Management System) compliantExternal site link - opens in a new window. One of the provisions of NIMS is the development of a Multi-agency Coordination System. The purpose of this multi-agency coordination is to develop and maintain connectivity capability between local Incident Command Posts (ICPs), and local, state/territorial Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs).

 

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