‘We Have Such A Beautiful City’: Pittsburgh Police Chief Doubles As Photographer

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When he was a child, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert dreamed of becoming a police officer. 

Not just any police officer — a Pittsburgh police officer, like his dad.  Little did he know, his choice of public service would lead him to discover his talent for photography.  Now, he is protecting and photographing his favorite place in the world.

It’s almost sunrise.  The view from the West End Overlook is breathtaking.  Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert has his camera all set up and ready to go.

“We have such a beautiful city,” said Chief Schubert.  Before he goes to work, he’ll capture the perfect picture just as the sun is coming up over the city.

The Chief never knew he had an eye for photography until he became a detective with the city’s Mobile Crime Unit.

“I’d take multiple, multiple, multiple shots of the same thing, just to ensure I got it right,” said Schubert.  The photography was detailed, documenting case evidence and telling a story for the jury.

“You want to be able to speak for that victim. Whatever the crime is, especially the homicides,” said Schubert. “Back then, it was all black and white, 35 mm camera. So, it wasn’t like you took the picture, then looked at it to make sure it was okay,” said Schubert.

The work task eventually turned into a hobby, with each photo telling another kind of story.

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“I’m always like looking, at the sunrise, or whether it’s a sunset or whether it’s the storm clouds coming over,” said Schubert.

His three favorite places are the West End Overlook, Grandview Avenue on Mt. Washington – especially at the Duquesne Incline and the North Shore.

“Every picture I take, I think of it as history. It’s a piece of history for Pittsburgh,” said Schubert.  The Chief’s love of his hometown pairs perfectly with his love for photography.

“I just love Pittsburgh. Because even when you run through the downtown, there are so many different buildings that you don’t normally see in a city,” said Schubert.  It’s also a great way to relieve the stress that comes with leading a force of over 900 officers.

“I have the opportunity to really think about things when I’m doing it or just block everything out,” said Schubert.  The only tough part is finding the time!  The Chief also keeps busy volunteering for Special Olympics.

When people see him around the city with his camera, they are surprised to find out he’s also a skilled photographer.

According to Schubert, “If it’s a couple or a family I’ll say ‘can I take your picture for you?'”

Conversations sometimes lead to information he wouldn’t otherwise hear.

“Sometimes you hear from people about things that are going on or complaints of crime in their neighborhood,” said Schubert.

Chief Schubert especially enjoys capturing priceless moments for his officers.

“I think I have the greatest job in the world because we have great officers who do an amazing job. They go out and they help people they don’t know.  When you get a call, they never ask who’s on the other end. They just go,” said Schubert.

Chief Schubert has served the city Pittsburgh for the past 24 years.  His pictures are just one more way he watches over and honors his favorite place in the world.

To check out more of his work, click here. 

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