Pittsburgh Gov Guide, A website of The Pittsburgh Foundation
Smithfield Street bridge at dusk taken from the South Shore. Photo by Joshua Franzos.

Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) ensures that laws are enforced and are determined to protect and serve the community. This department encompasses the Bureau of Police (BOP), Bureau of Fire (BOF), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Animal Care and Control, and Administrative Bureau.

This Department provides for the security and safety of all residents and patrons of the City of Pittsburgh through the oversight and execution of public safety operational strategies through the planned and coordinated efforts of the Bureaus of Police (BOP), Fire (BOF), Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Animal Care and Control (ACC). Through the DPS exists a command team with representatives from the BOP, BOF, and EMS acting in conjunction as the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS).

The OEMHS works with city, county, regional, state and federal government partners; businesses; and non-government organizations to develop all hazards plans for natural disasters and human-caused events. The OEMHS serves as a conduit for interagency coordination and provides interoperable communications capabilities to first responders and other key stakeholders during emergency scenarios and special events. The entire spectrum of emergency management operations from preparation to recovery and mitigation is the responsibility of the OEMHS.

The DPS strives to improve community and first responder safety through integrated response, training, technology, fleet upgrades, and increased community visibility, as well as enhancing and enforcing team collaboration across all Public Safety Bureaus. In addition to the above-mentioned Bureaus, the DPS oversees the Pittsburgh Park Rangers, Special Events, data updates for the website’s Interactive Violence Dashboards, Community Safety, Disruptive Properties, Victim Assistance, National Night Out, Nighttime Economy and various initiative and programs aimed at addressing community safety. Also addressed are:

  • Administration.
  • Community Outreach.
  • Group Violence Intervention Initiative.
  • Office of Emergency Management.
  • Office of Special Events.
  • Public Information Office/Media.
  • Public Safety Technology.
  • Special Inter-Bureau Operations.
  • Public Safety Facilities.
  • Bureau of Police.
  • Bureau of Fire.

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More about the Department of Public Safety

Below is a list of content in the Department of Public Safety's Transition Brief (prepared by Thomas Consulting Group for The Pittsburgh Foundation). 


  • Resume training academy classes and development ASAP.
  • Change Bureau of Fire residency requirements.
  • Assess and determine a clear role for DPS regarding wellness and socialservices.
  • DPS and the Office of Community Health and Safety (OCHS).
  • A national overview.
  • Expand the victim assistance office.
  • Implement cross-cultural training.
  • Develop community-based policing strategies.
  • Performance evaluations should be utilized.


  • Enabling legislation.
  • Mission.
  • Organizational lhart.
  • Community outreach.
  • Zone Public Safety Council.
  • Agency goals.
  • Performance metrics.
  • Budget.
  • Projects and programs.
  • Accomplishments.
  • Opportunities and risks.

Download the full report