PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rather than boycotting extra work at next weekend’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade, Pittsburgh police officers will instead air their grievances with the city in a less disruptive protest.
After meeting for three hours today to talk about what they’ve called unfair treatment by the city, the police union backed down from an earlier threat and will now accept special details at private businesses during the city’s rowdiest day.
More than 200 additional police officers are needed for crowd control during the celebration.
“We certainly in no way want to affect any of the celebrations or that — and that was not our intention,” Fraternal Order of Police President Dan O’Hara added. “Our intention was to air out our grievances.”
Among their complaints is the treatment of Sgt. Eugene Hlavac. Though Hlavac was acquitted of domestic abuse charges, the city is refusing to let him back on the force.
”Hlavac is just one of many issues,” O’Hara explained, “and this isn’t something that we take lightly.”
They’re also upset about the paid suspensions of Officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak who are under investigation for the beating of then teenager Jordan Miles.
Despite their grievances, the police union says it won’t boycott the parade:
“We feel that it would actually punish the very businesses that are expecting us to be there, that we’re there for all year long,” O’Hara added.
Instead, Pittsburgh police say off-duty officers will march in solidarity in the St. Patricks Day parade and hand out leaflets out to the public detailing their grievances.