Need a Mask? Get One for Free from Pittsburgh Police

Free cloth masks are now available to the public at police stations across the city.


Pittsburgh Police, in partnership with local nonprofit Global Links, is giving out free masks throughout the city in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Through the initiative, “Need a Mask, Take a Mask” the cloth masks are freely available at newspaper boxes in designated pick-up locations, according to Tiffany Costa, the community outreach officer for Pittsburgh Police. 

Costa says the police took a stance early on by giving out paper masks to the public, but with this collaboration with Global Links — which allocates surplus or unused medical supplies to communities in need — they are now able to provide more than 10,000 cloth masks, which can be washed and reused. The idea behind putting the masks inside newspaper boxes, whose coin-operated systems have been deactivated, outside of police stations was very “spontaneous”, according to Costa.

“We want to reduce the amount of social contact we’re having and avoid walking into the stations and asking for a mask,” Costa says. 

On April 15, Gov. Tom Wolfe ordered that all customers and employees across the state must wear masks while inside businesses and that individuals not wearing masks should be denied entry. Costa says the police have also partnered with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation to deliver masks along with grab-and-go lunches at senior and recreation centers. The masks are dispersed throughout all six police stations, as well as two sub-stations. 

Here is a list of pick-up locations where masks are available:

  • Zone 1 Police Station: 1501 Brighton Road
  • Northview Heights Police Substation, during operating hours: 441 Mt. Pleasant Road
  • Zone 2 Police Station: 2000 Centre Ave.
  • Downtown Substation, during operating hours: 604 Liberty Ave.
  • Zone 3 Police Station: 830 East Warrington Ave.
  • Zone 4 Police Station: 5858 Northumberland St.
  • Zone 5 Police Station: 1401 Washington Blvd.
  • Zone 6 Police Station: 312 South Main St.

Costa also says this initiative is aimed at helping vulnerable populations and health care workers who are in need of face protection. In addition, police officers are giving out masks to those they see in public who are not properly equipped. 

In a video posted to Pittsburgh Police’s social media accounts, Chief Scott Schubert urges residents to wear masks in public in order to protect the health and safety of others. 

“When I get out of my car, I always have my mask. I put it on if I’m in meetings [or] going into buildings. I try to do my part,” Schubert says, “And I’m asking everyone to please do their part as well. We’ll get through this and we’ll get through this together.”

Categories: The 412