Community Safety

Due to an increase in reports and incidents specifically targeted toward the queer and trans community of Pittsburgh, community vigilance and awareness are necessary from everyone to ensure our community’s safety.

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1


  • Carry a free, QBurgh community safety whistle. More information below.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try to walk in well-lit areas, with other people around.
  • Walk in groups, or with others nearby.
  • Don’t display or count your money where others can see you.
  • Conceal your technology (iPads, cell phones, etc.).
  • Be cautious when approached by strangers.
  • If confronted by someone, try not to verbally engage with them. Drugs, alcohol, or mental illness may be driving their behaviors so your safest course is to disengage and not escalate the situation.
  • If anyone attempts to rob you, either by threats or with a weapon, do not resist. It is not worth risking your life or physical injury for the amount of money you will lose.
  • PLEASE NOTE: someone calling you a derogatory and hurtful names is not a crime. If the comments are accompanied by threats, threatening behavior, or physical harm, it then becomes a crime.


  • When leaving a party or a bar, travel in groups. Criminals will focus on lone pedestrians.
  • Don’t get into strangers’ cars.
  • Order an Uber, Lyft, or cab, call a sober friend or family member to take you home. DUIs are dangerous to everyone, and they cost a lot of money.
  • Be aware at the bar or venue. Always pay attention to your drink and never leave it unattended. Be aware of unattended or suspicious backpacks, bags, or packages.
  • Report suspicious behavior towards yourself or other patrons and suspicious packages to the bartender or management as soon as possible.

Meeting People Online or through Apps

  • If you meet someone, tell your friends where you’re going & describe the person you’re with.
    • If possible share a screenshot of the person’s social media with a trusted friend.
  • Don’t volunteer any of your personal information (date of birth, address, etc.).
  • Meet your date in a public place.
  • Try to find out as much about your date as possible.
  • If practical, record your date’s vehicle description and license plate number.
  • Save all of your e-mails and texts from the person you’re meeting.
  • If your date is making you uncomfortable, don’t worry about politeness. LEAVE!

Report crimes to the Pittsburgh Police and to the FBI

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
  • If you have been or believe you have been the victim of a crime, report it to the Pittsburgh Police as soon as possible.
  • If you have been or believe you have been the victim of a hate crime, report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.
    • Just because you have filed a police report with the Pittsburgh Police does NOT mean that the FBI is always aware of your reported hate crime. After filing a police report with the Pittsburgh Police take the additional step of reporting to the FBI.
    • If you have an uncomfortable or insensitive interaction with Pittsburgh Police while reporting a crime, you can file a complaint with the City of Pittsburgh Office of Municipal Investigations here or the Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board here.

Community Safety Whistles

QBurgh is providing community safety whistles (aka Hate crime whistles) that you can easily attach to your keys or bag.

To help keep our community safe, QBurgh is resurrecting a classic, low-tech technique: the hate crime whistle. Utilized in the queer community in the 90’s and more recently in Asian American communities, whistles are a simple but effective approach that have proven successful in reducing the number of assaults and in helping to identify offenders. Whistles obviously do not replace the police but it draws attention to an aggressor and their behavior and is generally recognized as a clear sign to others that someone needs help, especially in a situation where you may not have your phone readily available.

  • Please only blow the whistle if you are in danger.
  • Please avoid sharing your whistle with others.

Community Safety Whistles will be available at LGBTQ spaces across the Pittsburgh region. We will reopen requests for whistles when our next batch is delivered.

Please consider making a contribution to help cover the costs of the Community Safety Whistle campaign.