Brenda Tate is a lifelong resident of the Hill District and a 40-year veteran of Pittsburgh law enforcement where she served in various capacities. These include, from foot patrol to the protection of three visiting Presidents and in 1998 she was the first African-American female assigned to a new unit – The Witness Protection Program.
BT Community Consulting, LLC is her business, wherein she works with organizations to assist them build positive community relations, respond to safety needs and create effective partnerships with law enforcement.
One of her early clients, Three Rivers Youth, under the leadership of President and CEO Peggy Harris, was in need of assistance in brokering relationships between the police, the community and those who are in charge of the group homes located around the City. By the coordination and facilitation of community meetings where all parties came together to dialogue about the challenges they faced, and fears of the community, she was able to diffuse potential conflicts.
Additionally, she helps insure local police and residents understand the mission and goals of Three Rivers Youth.
Her entrée into this new endeavor is an opportunity to combine her background and experience, and utilize these skills to serve organizations to assist in meeting specialized needs.
Another business she serves is the KBK Enterprises, the developers of the new Skyline Terrace in the Hill District, with properties in Garfield and the Larimer neighborhoods.
Keith B. Key resolved that he wanted to discontinue outside contracting of security at their properties. As a result, Tate was hired to build a security team and manage the security force, Rhino Security, for all of their properties. She says, “I’m proud to be able
to assist, along with Tanya Ford, establish this security force because Keith is more than a developer. Not only does he build homes, but his approach to creating communities is holistic—including to putting a new face on the word ‘Security’ ridding the stereotypical appearance of persons in the industry—I’m pleased to be a part of his team.”
Tate says that both Three Rivers Youth and assisting the establishment of Rhino Securities will be long-term commitments as she continues to build her business. She says, “I hope when my contract is up with Three Rivers Youth they will be on solid footing with the community and be able to handle any issues that arise. Also, the relationships we’ve helped build will mitigate problems and allow the youth homes to function better in the community without involving law-enforcement as much.”
“I’ll be using what I already know to help organizations recognize and deal with all manner of safety issues, and I actually have a team of retired police officers ready to help facilitate meeting the needs of any organization concerned about maintaining safety issues.” She says that it was through the efforts and support of Urban Innovation 21 who helped her restructure her thoughts about starting a business after retirement. She says, “I previously had a passion to open a flower shop, but with their assistance, I was able to get a ‘real’ look at what it meant to create a business. It makes sense to use the knowledge and skills I’d cultivated to earn income in a new way as an entrepreneur.
I am grateful to them for their direction, to put my years of experience to use to help other entities to meet their safety and security needs.
This article was first published in Soul Pitt Quarterly Print Magazine (Fall 2016). Copyright Soul Pitt Media. All Rights Reserved.