PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — He was a small town cop in West Brownsville — who left for the state police and then traveled the country in the FBI with stops in New York City and Washington D.C.
But memories of Steelers and Pirates games as a kid were part of the allure to come back home.
“I’m very happy to have the opportunity to be back here,” said Stephen Bucar. “It’s an opportunity when I was a child coming into the city for those ballgames that i never imagined that I would have.”
Given city Council approval, former agent Bucar will become Pittsburgh’s next Public Safety Director — job one will be to find a new police chief to mend a police bureau torn by a scandal, which has landed former chief Nate Harper in jail.
Bucar and the mayor will hold community meetings for input on a new chief and conduct a national search with aim of naming a new chief by labor day.
“We need to raise the morale of the bureau,” Mayor Bill Peduto said. “It’s at the lowest I’ve every seen it and I saw it when the bureau was under a federal consent decree when the feds came in and took over. And we have to restore the faith in the community.”
“The community’s respect for the police department is not mutually exclusive to the officers morale,” Bucar said. “Both of those have to be in sync.”
Even at $125,000 a year — Bucar says he was not drawn to the position for the money — but rather the prospect of making a difference — even under the specter of a continuing federal corruption investigation.
“Actually it’s what attracted me,” Bucar said. “I like a challenges and I’d be lying to you if I said this wasn’t a challenge but it’s a challenge that I feel comfortable with because of my background.”