PITTSBURGH - As New York City police prepare to bury two of their own, police in Pittsburgh are taking extra steps to keep our officers safe.
On Sunday night, Channel 11 News learned that the Pittsburgh police department is on a heightened state of alert following alleged threats.
Special Agent Greg Heeb, of the FBI in Pittsburgh, said, “We received some information. Very, very general information, but it was something we felt, given the current threat environment, that we needed to push out to our partners in state and local law enforcement.”
Pittsburgh police spokesperson Sonya Toler told Channel 11’s Dave Bondy that in response to a potential threat made to police, officers will be doubling up on patrols.
"Traffic stops, calls of a suspicious nature, high priority calls, we are asking officers to wait for backup before responding to those calls,” said Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant.
An alert obtained by Channel 11 News indicated that a source received information concerning unspecified threats to kill law enforcement officials and Caucasian civilians. The alert also said the location for the threats is unknown, but they appeared to have direct access to violent criminal enterprises in the Pittsburgh region.
"The families of officers throughout the city are upset. They are nervous and they’re fearful for the safety of their loved ones,” Bryant said.
Bryant said this is an extremely stressful time for officers. She’s asking everyone to put a blue light in their window to show their support.
“It kind of lets officers know that we are thinking about you and care about you. Everyone seems like the community is against the police, but there are so many people that love our officers,” Bryant said.
Toler also said teaming up officers is not uncommon when potential threats are made.
Pittsburgh is not the only city that has stepped up its alert status. Several other cities, including Cleveland, are monitoring potential threats.
It’s unclear how long the heightened sense of alert will be in place, as the credibility of the threats has not been determined.
“At this point it’s tough to say,” said Heeb. “We simply took the information that we received and we passed that out to our partners.”