Allegheny Center Alliance Church is hosting out-of-town as well as Pittsburgh Police officers during the G-20 Summit. All of its normal ministries are on hold until Saturday.
Rev. Blaine Workman said that ACAC wanted to serve the city and its police force during the G-20 by providing them a safe place to rest and eat between long shifts.
“It’s unusual for us,” Workman said. “We’re now a hotel.”
ACAC “hotel” amenities include foldout cots and food and coffee in the fellowship hall. Volunteers will be on hand 24/7 to ensure the officers have everything they need to relax and take a break from G-20 security operations.
Workman said they decided to offer their time and church to the police several weeks ago. A few Pittsburgh Police officers attend ACAC, and Workman said the church’s experience with these members after the shootings in April led them to want to serve officers in Pittsburgh.
“Boy, [police] jumped on the idea,” Workman said.
The church worked with the police and the City of Pittsburgh to set up a security perimeter around the church to ensure that officers would be safe and truly have a place to relax.
“Even we were surprised when they put the barbed wire up on the fence,” Workman said.
In addition to many out-of-town officers staying at ACAC, Workman said many Pittsburgh Police officers are choosing to stay there as well, rather than drive home.
Workman had no idea how many officers would stay with them over the next few days, and said the number changed every 30 minutes, and they were expecting “a lot.”
The camp will stay until Saturday evening, and Workman said normal services would resume Saturday evening and Sunday morning.