community violence

Dickelbers / Wikipedia

Bringing down Pittsburgh's homicide rate was a major public safety priority this year for the city's bureau of police.

According to data provided by police, there were 71 homicides in 2014, nearly one-third more than the previous year and the city's highest volume since officers investigated 74 homicides in 2008.

But things might be improving, police Chief Cameron McLay said. 

Iain Watson / Flickr

A candlelight peace vigil is planned in East Liberty next month. As East End Cooperative Ministry Executive Director Michael Mingrone imagines it, thousands of people from across faiths and walks of life will line the streets, candles in hand, conveying a message of solidarity for as far as the eye can see.

“We really wanted to focus on the act of peace and how it’s created,” said Mingrone. “The concept is we create peace within ourselves and our homes and then it gets shared throughout our community, to our country, to the world.”

International Peace Day

  The United Nations established the International Day of Peace in 1981 to raise awareness about how violent behavior affects nations, schools and families alike, encouraging cease fires in war-torn nations and local reflection on how individual action affects others.

For the 15th year, Pittsburgh is participating with a rally, non-denominational prayer service and a festival. Sister Barbara Finch, the co-founder and co-organizer of the local observance of the International Day of Peace, said locals can take this as an opportunity to assess.

Casey Chafin / 90.5 WESA

  A day after community leaders called for an end to the violence in the city, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Police Chief Cameron McLay said Wednesday there are fewer homicides this year despite an uptick in area shootings.

“It’s not an epidemic of violence outside the norm of this city,” McLay said.