PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Chief Nate Harper has not been seen or heard from since he was dismissed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl two weeks ago — but the bureau continues to reel in the wake of federal investigation.
Interim Chief Regina McDonald says she knows morale is low among the rank-and-file.
“We understand their pain and suffering and we’re doing everything we can to improve the reputation of the bureau of police,” she said.
One major complaint is favoritism — that under Harper, a small group of officers assigned to the chief’s office were rewarded in overtime — hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime.
One squad that massed much of that was called C-TIPS — the Community Technical Investigative Preparedness Section. And in 2011 alone — the six officers assigned to C-TIPS made $180,055 dollars in overtime and premium pay in 2011 alone — that comes to more than $30,000 each.
C-TIPS was original designed to follow community tips and address neighborhood complaints — and it also worked with various drug task forces.
But critics inside the bureau say C-TIPS made very few arrests and since they reported directly to the chief — only Harper knew what their exact mission. Today McDonald disbanded C-TIPS and other units will now be under a chain of command to ensure more accountability.
“We want to make sure that we have job descriptions of those units all the officers in those units,” McDonald said.
The overtime of Eric Holmes is another question mark, in addition to being a sergeant reporting directly to the chief. Holmes was employed as the director of public safety at Slippery Rock University.
Though performing both jobs would seem to require an 80-hour week, Holmes managed to make $25,308 in overtime and premium pay from the city in 2010 and $36,390 in 2011.
Holmes did not return phone call asking for comment, but he was one of four officers who signed incorporation papers with the former chief to form a private security firm.
In 2011, one of those other officers, Tonya Montgomery-Ford made $37,039 in overtime working as a clerk in the chief’s office.