PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is resigning from his position.
During this morning’s press conference with Mayor Bill Peduto, McLay said he truly believes that he accomplished all he could and that it was time to pass the torch.
“At this point I earnestly believe I have accomplished all that I am able to do. At this point I’ve made the decision that I’m going to be stepping aside to pursue other opportunities,” McLay said. “This is a great city. And it’s been an honor to serve you all. So, I leave here knowing that as I look back on the rest of my professional life, I am full certain that my proudest moments will be serving as the chief of the Pittsburgh Police.”
McLay spoke of the improvements made to police-community relations in his two years in Pittsburgh. He also applauded the work that was done to build on police accountability and improved oversight.
He advised the Pittsburgh police force to stay the course and that they’re on the right path.
McLay tells his officers as he steps away from his position, “Stay the course. You’re on the right path”
— Heather Abraham (@KDKAHeather) November 4, 2016
“We needed somebody, as Chief McLay called it, the wrecking ball chief to come in and be able to build reform and that helped to pave the way to where we are now with a data driven police force, a community relations police focus of community policing,” Peduto said.
Assistant Chief Scott Schubert will serve as the interim chief for the next 90 days. He has been with the bureau for 24 years.
Peduto said there is no open or active search for a new chief and that this is an opportunity for Schubert to take on the role full-time.
McLay says his last official day will be Dec. 4. However, due to approved time off, he expects his last day to be Nov. 8.
McLay has angered some rank-and-file officers by addressing the Democratic National Convention in July and because of other differences that McLay says are emerging as he tries to reform the department and improve relations with black citizens.
The union held a no-confidence vote in September and the Citizens Police Review Board has since determined McLay violated a city code banning partisan political activity by speaking at political convention in uniform. Peduto has defended the speech as a non-partisan address about improving police-community relations.
He says the no-confidence vote didn’t affect his decision. He says he’s done as much as he can for the city.
United States Attorney David J. Hickton released the following statement:
“Cam McLay has been an outstanding Police Chief for the City of Pittsburgh. He has implemented many needed reforms in keeping with the principles of 21st Century policing. While we will miss him and wish him well, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police is in a much improved position today because of his good work.”
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