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Mayor's Security Increased Due To Social Media Responses

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There's a big debate over whether to allow Syrian refugees into America because one of the terrorists in Paris may have posed as one to get into Europe.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto believes it's the right thing to do to accept refugees.

But his stance has gotten a strong response on social media, and it's prompted police to increase security.

No one will give specifics, but security has been added for the time being.

"I don't ever worry about a good jabbing," said Mayor Peduto. But some of the responses on Facebook may go beyond that.

"I have a family that I love very much," said the mayor. "I can take it. I don't mind it. I think people should think before they put things on social media that may affect others and having to have conversations with your family members is a tough thing to do."

Highfield asked: "What have you had to say to them?"
Mayor Peduto: "Just to tell them that everything is okay. I've got the backing of the Pittsburgh Police if necessary with anything that would ever possibly come up."

While some politicians say they'll fight attempts to settle Syrian refugees in the U.S., Mayor Peduto and Governor Wolf both believe we should accept them.

"There's been a virulent response to the mayor's stance, and in order to do our due diligence, we need to make sure none of those who are making these threats are going to act on them," said Chief Cameron McLay from the Pittsburgh Police.

And what specifically does he mean by "threats"? Are they investigating actual threats and who is behind them?
Chief McLay answered: "Purely precautionary."

The mayor spoke at a meeting of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, a group which supports his decision to accept refugees.

"We cannot be that myopic as a nation that we can't welcome people who are vulnerable," said Rev. Richard Freeman, who is president of the group.

The mayor says any refugees who would come to Pittsburgh would undergo nearly two years of screening beforehand.

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