- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh police officers won’t be patrolling alone but will be doubling up in response to a statewide FBI alert about “potential threats” against law enforcement, authorities said.

Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler officers were directed to partner up on assignments as a precaution following the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers over the weekend.

“It is not uncommon for us to take this course of action when information is received regarding potential threats against police officers,” Toler said.

Assistant Chief Maurita Bryant said there were no “active threats” against police, but officers were told to double up and advised “to be vigilant when they are responding to calls, when they are stopping for lunch or a coffee break.”

“Traffic stops, calls of a suspicious nature, high-priority calls, we are asking officers to wait for backup before responding to those calls,” Bryant said.

The FBI in Pittsburgh officially alerted Pittsburgh police over the weekend that a source of unknown reliability this month reported threats to kill law enforcement officials and Caucasian civilians. Although no location was mentioned, the FBI memo said the source “appeared to have direct access to violent criminal enterprises” in the Pittsburgh area.

Supervisory agent Gregory Heeb said the information received around Dec. 12 was passed along informally to western Pennsylvania and West Virginia law enforcement agencies before being officially released over the weekend.

“Everything we’ve gotten with regard to this threat, we’ve shared,” Heeb said. “We’ll let people make their own conclusions about its credibility.”

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