Fellowship Openings

Evaluating Community Policing Strategies to Build Safer Communities

Project: Evaluating Community Policing Strategies to Build Safer Communities

Agency: Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

Location: Pittsburgh, PA


While the City of Pittsburgh experienced a significant drop in violent crime over the last decade, areas of violence still persist, including in the neighborhood of Northside in Zone 1. This gap in outcomes has not gone unnoticed by residents, and on-going threats to public safety have bred a sense of fear and mistrust of authorities that has left residents less likely to engage with public institutions. In 2015, The Buhl Foundation conducted a One Northside Community Census, as part of a comprehensive resident-driven initiative for community development focused on the five pillars of safety, health, employment, place and education. During that process, residents identified “Crime, Drugs, and Violence” as the priority issue to address – with 790 votes. The second most popular issue received less than 200 votes.

Recognizing that a sincere and broad-based community engagement effort was necessary to both address persistent crime and rebuild trust within this community, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP) initiated a series of pilot projects to test new methods of community-oriented policing. Pilots include the hiring of neighborhood resource officers to proactively tackle neighborhood problems and the Diversion project, developed in collaboration with the Foundation of HOPE, Buhl Foundation and District Attorney’s office, that gives police officers flexibility to refer youth to social service providers in cases of minor or non-violent offenses. Most recently, PBP was approached by the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) to administer a community-policing informed strategy for Northview Heights and Allegheny Dwellings, two public housing projects in Zone 1. On December 4, 2018 the new Public Safety Center was opened and funding from HACP covered the costs of dedicated PBP support for these housing developments as well as the costs of a community outreach staffer, housed at a local non-profit organization, to help forge connections between the police and residents to help facilitate referrals to various community resources.

Already, momentum is building for this initiative, and PBP is eager to evaluate its design and effectiveness, and develop metrics that capture both community engagement as well as the intentional community policing strategies being deployed by officers. Data that demonstrates the value of this approach can help make the case for it’s replication across the city and lay the foundation for potential inclusion of new performance metrics in officer evaluations. Success through significant reductions in crime could not only catapult Pittsburgh into the forefront of ambitious community-oriented policing strategies, but could also help repair the long-fraught relationships between the City’s police and most vulnerable residents. To support this work, the City of Pittsburgh will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level fellow for one year who will guide the evaluation of the current community policing pilot in the Northside and develop recommendations for how the PBP can redesign police stations and operations throughout the city to serve as similar community hubs.


The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE Fellow and the host agency.

Starting in April 2019, it is proposed the FUSE Fellow will begin his or her work by completing a thorough assessment of the Northview Heights and Allegheny Dwellings pilot to understand how the varying roles of police officers, non-profit employees and residents as well as renovated facilities and new technology all contribute to the overall success of the project. Using strong research and analytical skills, the Fellow should be able to translate on-the-ground implementation into a standardized plan for operationalizing community policing initiatives, that PBP can reference for project replication and expansion. This final study should also include a series of metrics that can be used to track and evaluate more innovative measures of police performance, beyond the standard measures such as arrests, traffic stops and field contact stops.

In order to be successful in this role, the FUSE Fellow must be able to develop strong relationships at many levels in the community, and will be required to demonstrate emotional resilience, maturity and the professionalism to work with a range of diverse audiences including PBP leadership, police officers, low-income residents, academics and non-profit employees.

  • On-going Assessment of Project Implementation: Assess the day-to-day implementation of the Zone 1 Police sub-station at Northview Heights; Create metrics to accurately capture the community engagement work done through the pilot; Communicate regularly with Zone 1 Police, City of Pittsburgh Public Safety staff, One Northside, and community residents to monitor developments and feedback over the course of project implementation.
  • Research and Evaluation Study: Synthesize findings from project assessment in a final Study; highlight project successes and potential barriers for replication; Review and incorporate best practices from other vanguard cities; Outline how new police performance metrics might be used to incentivize more community policing measures.
  • Implement Pilot(s): Based on recommendations from implementation study, suggest one or two additional pilot locations for PBP to test replication. Assist with establishing pilots, in close collaboration with department stakeholders.


  • Anna Kudrov, Deputy Chief, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
  • Chris Ragland, Commander of Zone 1, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
  • Diana Bucco, President, The Buhl Foundation
  • Joe Lewis, Sergeant, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
  • Joy Pekar-Miller, Director of Public Safety, Housing Authority of Pittsburgh


  • At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a background in research & evaluation and process improvement. Understanding of community oriented policing models preferred, but not required.
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations.
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to coordinate stakeholder activities.
  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who can also be an independent worker.
  • Persistent in obtaining information and creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to complex problems.
  • Ability to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in public presentations.
  • Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity.
  • Ability to pass PA Act 33 and 34 clearances.


Click the link below to upload a resume and complete the online application questions in lieu of a cover letter. The application process will allow you to indicate interest in more than one fellowship opportunity. You only need to submit one application. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as selections will be made on a rolling basis and specific opportunities may close quickly.

A FUSE Fellowship is a 12-month engagement requiring fellows be primarily committed to their partnership with the government agency throughout the year to ensure the success of their project. Fellows are retained as independent contractors of FUSE Corps and are paid an annual stipend of $90,000 through monthly installments. This commitment begins on April 29, 2019 and ends April 27, 2020.

The FUSE Fellowship is an equal opportunity program with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.