Local Groups, City Council Discuss Police Chief Search At Public Meeting
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh City Council heard from the public on Wednesday about the search for the city’s next police chief.
The former chief, Nate Harper, had one style of running the Pittsburgh Police Department. But in just over a week, Acting Chief Regina McDonald is bringing her own style to the rank and file.
So now, City Council and concerned community groups want to shape at least a discussion on what the next chief should be like.
“A chief of police that will be responsive to the community,” said Tim Stevens, of BPEP.
“We want somebody with strong union experience because that’s part of our landscape here,” said David Harris of the University of Pittsburgh Law School.
City Council representatives, who will not have the final say on who heads up the city police force, heard a lot of opinions on who should take over the head job.
There was one point though that most seemed to agree upon.
“I don’t think that this mayor should appoint the new chief,” said Robert McNeilly, the former chief of Pittsburgh Police. “As we all know, every time there’s a new mayor, there’s a new chief. Even if they’re the best person for the job, they probably won’t survive.
But at least one council representative said that before debating what to look for in a new chief, there should be a better understanding about what’s happened up until now with the former chief.
“What sort of things happened to our former chief? What sort of circumstances was he placed into?” said City Councilman Patrick Dowd. “I don’t know, but I have a whole bunch of ideas. In fact, I bet everybody in this room as a whole bunch of questions about that as well.”
Two current candidates for mayor were present at the town meeting, but the mayor was not.
There’s no word of when he might indicate his intentions; although, he has said the search process is already underway.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper Steps Down (2/20/13)
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