PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police hit bottom this week.
Two ranking members of the bureau were subpoenaed before a grand jury, and today, the former chief pleaded guilty to charges of corruption — unfairly tarring all those who serve.
“It was never the rank and file who was a part of all this, and we’ve taken it on the chin over everything that’s going on,” said Michael LaPorte, the FOP president.
The bureau is now looking to rebound, and so is the Democratic nominee and presumptive next mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto.
“Within the police bureau it says business as usual won’t continue,” said Peduto.
Peduto says for too long the bureau has been a rudderless ship. What’s needed, he says, is strong, new leadership to right its course and return it to the basics.
“What we need to do is to get back down to brass tacks, and basically understand that every part of being a police officer requires discipline that is beyond any other job,” Peduto says.
To that end, he will propose a new layer of civilian oversight in the Department of Public Safety.
“Public safety director at the top, then two operations administration deputies, [and] community relations deputy,” said Peduto.
These new positions will ensure public accountability while Peduto says he will take his time in picking a new chief.
Peduto: “Pittsburgh is at a time right now where it needs healing, and probably the best way to do that is through a national search, allowing those that are on the bureau to apply, but also looking outside.”
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “But your preference is to go outside?”
Peduto: “I don’t have a preference. My preference is to have the best person in that position to do what’s going to require a lot of work.”
Former Chief Nate Harper Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges (10/18/13)
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