City Council Member Wants To Curb Departure Of Police Officers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dozens of Pittsburgh police officers have left the city for suburban departments and hundreds more are trying to follow.

KD Investigator Andy Sheehan brought these facts to light in a report and there were calls from City Hall to stem the tide of departing officers.

Theresa Kail-Smith, city council public safety chairperson, says the trend must be curbed.

“The police officers have a list of concerns that have not been addressed or met,” she said.

Officers cite poor morale and relatively low wages and benefits. After six years of state oversight, city officers are now among the lowest paid in the county.

Kail-Smith wants a summit with the police to address those concerns to increase benefits where the city can while enlisting the help of the state.

At the same time, since the city pays money to train the police, she’d like hirees to be required to stay for a certain length of time.

She believes strongly in maintaining the city residency requirement.

“I think if anyone’s receiving a paycheck from the city they should have a commitment to the city and want to stay here,” she said. “Those are the people I think we should be attracting – the people who are dedicated to the city of Pittsburgh.”

  • Mike Stivic

    This women seems like a nice lady but she doesn’t have a clue. Same old rhetoric when she says if you work for the city you should have to live there. I grew up in the city and can’t wait to move out. Hey Theresa look at the sign in the front yard of our state rep. Maybe when convicted felons are patrolling the streets you politicians will wake up. Residency rules are UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

  • Sandy

    Wow your right on the mark Mike, surprised nobody who something stupid or tried to delete your comment…The truth hurts

  • madcop

    This city sucks and the people in charge are complete idiots. Dealing with people that hate you and want to kill you isnt bad all all, its the people in charge and the constant way they treat people like POOP that breaks our will to work or live here!

  • Badcity

    I have to disagree, I have a family. I don’t want to be killed. I am sick of dealing with ignorant people. I hate being treated bad by the people in charge. I wish I made what they do everywhere else. I also hate the way things are done here. Somehow who you know and what color you are mean more in getting promoted or going somewhere than being a good worker and smart…its sickening.

  • Thomas J Duttine

    Want to keep the cops in the city??? Make the officials support them. I’d like to see the “big shots” deal with the animals that cops have to deal with…….Well the city can always recruit from the Hill or Homewood… they all have better guns than the cops carry.

  • pghdet

    All they do is recruit from the ghettos, why do you think we dont get good applicants in the city. I have news for you the couple kids in the city who arent FELONS by the time they are eligible to take this job have their lives together and are going to do much more than be a COP

  • Kathleen Amoroso

    Pretty much the City doesn’t treat its police very well. What goes around comes around, I guess.


    the city requirement is bad…but its what we have to deal with…city teachers are not required to live in the city…but police are required to work and live right next to the same people we arrest.. Many police have had threats against their families….city requirement is a a dump cause to look at now there is allot that needs fixed first…most can care less about a 4 day work week because that will cut court cost and details…the very thing that makes our pay…we would love just to be able to buy our own AR-15’s Like the state police >>>TO CUT COST TO THE CITY>>>>WE WILL BUY OUR OWN>>>>but we have higher ups/chiefs that have never made a arrest..Wearing brass and making major decisions…but we love working for the city of Pittsburgh because its home and always will be home….The Police have poor morale….who wouldn’t when you have the very people in charge…turning you in for misconduct when they for one the “citizen” never even has a complaint against the officers… …So what does that do kill a whole zone shut it down not care about being proactive taking the some of the police that loved putting on their uniform everyday now despise and hate it every day…

  • Jeff

    I know the political response to my previous post is that I’m not proposing any solutions so here we go. First the true reason, regardless of all the nonsense you people spew, for making officers live in the city is because city employees are the majority of the tax base. Nearly half, if it hasn’t reached over half, of all property in the city is owed by nonprofits who pay no taxes. The majority of these so called nonprofits generate enormous profits each year but they are never called out because they donate large amounts of money to political campaigns and pay for our little punk mayor to travel and play golf when he should be at home caring for his wife(who had enough sense to dump his ass) and child. One of the largest cost to the city is employee health benefits. If the non profits want to keep their tax exempt status they should be required to provide health care benefits to all city employees like they do their own employees. UPMC has over 40,000 employees so adding another 2000 or so will not impact their bottom line. And the universities should be required to provide the same deal to city officers as it does to their own officers, especially when their students, namely Pitt, causes the city to pay exorbitant amounts of overtime each year due to their students acting like a##holes. Just these two little things would help put the city books in the black and give city officers a benefit (free or dicounted tuition for them and their children) that would make them
    want to stay.

    • Denise

      You are right on.

  • The Solution

    Same old BS, I don’t understand how one equates job dedication to residency. That is like saying the Steelers would play better if they all stayed inside the City limits. Or your mechanic would fix your car better if he lived in your garage. You either take pride in your work or you don’t. The reality is that a lot of good candidates who would otherwise be interested are basically unable to even consider the job if they’ve already invested in a home etc. somewhere outside the City limits. But as usual its the same old story from these people. Instead of attracting quality applicants with a good compensation and benefits package their solution is well bring em in and force em to stay. Newsflash,,a lot of police applicants are already paying their own way through the academy. If you think hanging tuition over their heads is gonna change things think again. As for retention of current Officers,,,well poor work conditions=poor performance=attrition. That’s just common sense that nobody around here seems to be able to figure out. Just sayin.

  • 47

    There are a multitude of reasons why the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police will continue to suffer losses of trained, experienced veteran officers to suburban departments.
    The most important reason in my opinion is the requirement of the officers to live within the City of Pittsburgh. I was born and raised inside the City of Pittsburgh and I don’t want to live here anymore. I’ve watched the neighborhoods that were once decent safe places to live, deteriorate with crime which has destroyed property values. So who wants to invest in a home which may be worth less the day you retire than the day you bought it? Example: Sheraden, Carrick, Beechview and soon to be Brookline. There are 88 communities in the city, so I’m sure I missed more than a few.
    Additionally, not many Pittsburgh Police officers want to send there children to the Animal House we call the Pittsburgh Public School system, regardless what Chief Harper suggests. So the officers are burdened with $5,000 to $9,000 a year, per child to send their children to a private school. That’s in addition to the school taxes, which are taken from every home owner and is supposed to provide a safe learning enviroment. The residency requirement is causing most of the attrition.
    The loss of medical benefits upon retirement is certainly causing many of the newer police officers to leave, some reluctantly, to other departments where they WILL have medical coverage after they retire.
    I apologize for taking the pessimistic outlook on Ms.Smith’s statement, but I simply don’t believe that she is honestly interested in making any changes in pay, benefits or residency in order to retain experienced police officers. I think her hidden agenda is to force recently trained police officers from leaving for other police departments. And I’m not suggesting that police officers shouldn’t be required to remain employed by the City Police for a period of time after the City tax payers invest in their training. But it won’t fix the problem. It will simply delay their departure. Or worse. Dissuade even more qualified people from even taking the job in the first place.
    Even if you can force officers to remain here for a predetermined amount of time, they will simply leave as soon as they can once that time expires. You must correct the problem, not the symptom.

  • Jeff

    For the record the trying to force people to stay at a job because they took training required by the employer to work that job has been tried in numerous states and numerous jurisdictions and cannot be enforced. Maybe if our politicians weren’t so illiterate the could do a little research before they spout off with their ridicuolus comments.

    • Denise

      I agree with you 100%.

  • railiFrieli

    Поиск одноклассников, бывших выпускников, сокурсников, сослуживцев, старых и новых друзей.

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