Cmdr. Eric Holmes

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh’s Public Safety department is working to strengthen relationships with immigrant communities through a new multicultural program.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/2xWxZyO) city officials introduced the Multicultural Liaison Unit to the public on Monday. Under the effort, Public Safety recruits will receive multicultural training and first responder materials will be translated into five different languages.

The new program is part of Mayor Bill Peduto’s plan to make Pittsburgh more welcoming to immigrants.

Pittsburgh Police Commander Eric Holmes says police and other first responders are the “boots-on-the-ground ambassadors for the city.” Holmes says it’s important for emergency personnel to foster relationships through their work.

The Heinz Foundation is expected to give a $50,000 grant for the initiative. Legislation in support of the unit will be presented Tuesday.

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