Pittsburgh Police Department Unveils Rainbow Decal In Support Of Pride Month
The Pittsburgh Police Department is showing support for Pride Month, unveiling a rainbow decal on Tuesday that will grace the side of one of their cruisers.
"This is part of our ongoing community outreach efforts," Chief of Staff Eric Holmes said to CBS affiliate KDKA. "This supports our work with the National Initiative and is in line with the task force Report on 21st Century Policing. Many police agencies around the country show their support this way."
Holmes, who is also the department's LGBTQ liaison, said members of the staff donated the full $350 cost of the decal, which will remain on the cruiser through the end of June. No taxpayer money was used.
The Pittsburgh Gazette reported that the city's police cars have been decorated to support various other causes over the year, such as Police Memorial Week, Black History Month and seven others. Yet, there have been concerns over the department's involvement.
Last June, Robert Swartzwelder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, voiced his concern regarding the use of public police vehicles to show support for causes. Swartzwelder said the endorsement of Pride Month could become a "slippery slope" for other groups, specifically hate groups, to insist on police backing for their causes as well. He has not commented on this year's design.
Despite last year's concerns, Pittsburgh Police stand by their design as well as the support it represents.
"This is part of our commitment to being an inclusive police department," Police Chief Scott Schubert said to the Gazette. "As far as our philosophy of community policing, this is about building bridges and being there for everyone."
The patrol car will be located in Pittsburgh's Downtown and Market Square through June for any visitors or locals who want to take a look.
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