PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dozens of Pittsburgh police officers have left the city for suburban departments and hundreds more are trying to follow.
KD Investigator Andy Sheehan brought these facts to light in a report and there were calls from City Hall to stem the tide of departing officers.
Theresa Kail-Smith, city council public safety chairperson, says the trend must be curbed.
“The police officers have a list of concerns that have not been addressed or met,” she said.
Officers cite poor morale and relatively low wages and benefits. After six years of state oversight, city officers are now among the lowest paid in the county.
Kail-Smith wants a summit with the police to address those concerns to increase benefits where the city can while enlisting the help of the state.
At the same time, since the city pays money to train the police, she’d like hirees to be required to stay for a certain length of time.
She believes strongly in maintaining the city residency requirement.
“I think if anyone’s receiving a paycheck from the city they should have a commitment to the city and want to stay here,” she said. “Those are the people I think we should be attracting – the people who are dedicated to the city of Pittsburgh.”