Pittsburgh Police

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Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Common name Pittsburgh Police
Abbreviation PBP
Pghpolicepatch.jpg
Patch of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
PA - Pittsburgh Police Logo.png
Logo of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.svg
Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Agency overview
Formed 1857
Preceding agency Pittsburgh Night Watchmen
Employees 1,092
Annual budget $70,606,746 (2010)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Pittsburgh in the state of Pennsylvania, USA
Legal jurisdiction Municipal
Primary governing body Pittsburgh City Council
Secondary governing body Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 1203 Western Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
Officers 904
Non-sworns 188
Agency executive Regina McDonald (acting), Chief of Police
Parent agency Public Safety Department
Branchs
Facilities
Zones
General Motors 1,000
Harleys 70
RiverRescue: 30' SeaArk Little Giants 2
RiverRescue: 25' Boston Whaler Guardians 1
RiverRescue: 19' Husky Airboats 1
German Shepherds 15
Belgian Malinois 2
Bloodhounds 1
Website
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Pittsburgh Police (PBP), officially the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, is the largest law enforcement agency in Western Pennsylvania and the third largest in Pennsylvania. The modern force of salaried and professional officers was founded in 1857 but dates back to the night watchmen beginning in 1794, and the subsequent day patrols in the early 19th century, in the then borough of Pittsburgh. By 1952 the Bureau had a strength of 1400 sworn officers[2] and in July 1985, 1200.[3]

Organization[edit]

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police is part of the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety and is headed by acting Chief Regina McDonald appointed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and approved by City Council. The Chief of Police is the top law enforcement agent of the city of Pittsburgh. In the Chiefs council are the positions of

  • Deputy Chief of Police Bureau
  • Chief of Staff Pittsburgh Police
  • Public Affairs Manager Pittsburgh Police
  • Legal Advisor to Pittsburgh Police

Reporting directly through the Deputy Chief of Police to the Chief are the three active units of the Police Bureau: Operations, Investigations, and Administration. Each one is headed by an Assistant Chief.

Operations Unit[edit]

Headed by the Assistant Chief of Operations, this unit is the most visible arm of the Pittsburgh Police Bureau. It consists six zones (the updated form of precincts) with each zone being supervised by the zone commander, as well as all zone patrol and response operations, SWAT team, Traffic patrol, and Impound. This is also the unit that does community policing.

The six Pittsburgh Police zones are:[4]

In 2010 the average Pittsburgh police zone had 12.8 officers, 2.8 detectives, 1.2 sergeants and .5 lieutenants on duty during any 8 hour shift.[1] City wide for any 8 hour 2010 shift this translates to 76.8 officers, 16.8 detectives, 7.2 sergeants and 3 lieutenants.

Investigations Unit[edit]

Headed by the Assistant Chief of Investigations Maurita Bryant, this unit overlays the operations staff with the detective and inspector corps of the Police Bureau. Its detective divisions are broken down into the following:

  • Auto Task Force
  • Arson Squad
  • Burglary Squad
  • Crime Stoppers
  • Crime Scene Investigators
  • Dignitary & Witness Security
  • Financial Crimes Task Force
  • Forfeiture
  • Gang Task Force
  • Homicide Squad
  • Missing Persons
  • Narcotics
  • Night Felony Squad
  • Nuisance Bar Task Force
  • Pawn
  • Robbery Squad
  • Sex Assault/Domestic Violence Squad

Pay[edit]

Recruit(In Academy)-$13.69/hour

Officer-$40,896/Year(2012)

Officer, after 4 years of service- approx. $58,000/Year

Master Police Officer and Detective- approx. $61,000/Year

Sergeant- approx. $66,000/Year

Lieutenant- approx. $75,000/Year

Benefits[edit]

Officers receive paid training and a tuition free academy. Uniform allowance, health/dental/vision insurances, life insurance, credit union, paid holidays and vacation, numerous specialty assignments, promotional opportunities, 457(b) plan, tuition assistance, unionized(F.O.P. membership) and a city pension plan. Some officers receive a take home car.

Overtime[edit]

Officers have ample opportunities to earn generous extra pay in overtime. Some officers earn can earn up twice their pay in overtime. For example, one Lieutenant whose take home pay is around $75,000/year also earned $130,000/year in overtime pay. Bringing his total take home pay to $205,000/year. This list of highest paid officers is published in local newspapers every year.

Explanation of Unique overtime system[edit]

The way this system works is private entities, pay to have police officers provide policing services, at bars, restaurants, supermarkets, night clubs, etc. The officers are usually not on duty, but sometimes are. These details are in addition to the officers normally scheduled shifts, assignments, or posts. These private entities, pay the City for the officers services, and then the city pays the officer for their overtime. So tax dollars really aren't involved in this system. While they may be off-duty, officers have the permission of the bureau/department and have full police powers in this system.

Union[edit]

Pittsburgh Police officers are members of the local Lodge(branch) of The Fraternal Order of Police.

Residency Requirement[edit]

Officer are required to be City of Pittsburgh residents prior to and during employment along with city firemen, paramedics, public works foreman, public works laborer, and some other city jobs also have the residency requirement. There is talk and plans of changing the residency requirement for police officers, so that they do not have to reside in The City of Pittsburgh. Yet, there have been no residency policy changes to date.

Retirement Requirement[edit]

Officers have mandatory retirement at the age of 65, regardless of other circumstances.

Administration Unit[edit]

Headed by the Assistant Chief of Administration, this is the least visible unit of the bureau but one that is possibly the most essential. It consists of eight major divisions.

  • Intel (Crime Analysis)
  • Office of Municipal Investigations (Internal Affairs)
  • Police Academy/Training
  • Personnel & Finance
  • Property Room
  • Records
  • School Patrol
  • Special Events Logistics
  • Warrant Office

Ranks of the Pittsburgh Police[edit]

Title Insignia
Chief of Department
1 Gold Star.svg
Deputy Chief
Colonel Gold.png
Assistant Chief
US-O5 insignia.svg
Commander
US-O4 insignia.svg
Lieutenant
US-O1 insignia.svg
Sergeant
NYPD Sergeant Stripes.svg
Detective/Police Officer
Blank.jpg

Structure[edit]

  • Regina McDonald: Chief of Police (Acting)
  • Paul Donaldson: Deputy Chief
  • Regina McDonald: Assistant Chief (Administration)
  • William Bochter: Assistant Chief (Operations)
  • Maurita Bryant: Assistant Chief (Investigations)
  • RaShall Brackney: Commander (Zone 1: North Side)
  • George Trosky: Commander (Zone 2: Hill District)
  • Cathy McNeilly: Commander (Zone 3: Allentown)
  • Richard Reilly: Commander(acting) (Zone 4: Squirrel Hill)
  • Kevin Kraus: Commander (Zone 5: Highland Park)
  • Scott Schubert: Commander (Zone 6: SDD / West End)
  • Thomas Stangrecki: Commander (Major Crimes)
  • Cheryl Doubt: Commander (Narcotics & Vice)
  • Linda Barone: Commander (Support Services)

Police Chiefs[edit]

Modern era[edit]

Controversies[edit]

In 1996, after the deaths of two African-American men in Police custody, the ACLU and the NAACP filed a class action lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, alleging a pattern of civil rights abuses. After an investigation, the U.S. Justice Department joined the suit in January 1997, stating "that there is a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police that deprives persons of rights, privileges, and immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States".[5]

After a brief court challenge, the City entered into a consent decree with the federal government in April 1997 that outlined the steps that it would take to improve its conduct. The decree was lifted from the Police Bureau in 2001, and from the Office of Municipal Investigation in 2002.[6] Community activists in Pittsburgh successfully used a referendum to create an independent review board in 1997.[7] A study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2001 found that 70% of Pittsburgh's African-American residents believe it either "very common" or "somewhat common" for "police officers in Pittsburgh to use excessive force" and that only 48% feel that the Police are doing a "very good" or "somewhat good" "job of fighting crime", while 77% of white residents responded so.[6]

In February 2013, the FBI and IRS seized boxes of documents from police headquarters and the independent police credit union concerning thousands of deposits and withdrawals of taxpayer money from unauthorized accounts.[8][9][10] Allegations have been made against former Chief Nate Harper, who was forced to resign on February 20, 2013 due to the FBI and IRS investigations. On March 22, a Federal Grand Jury indicted Harper for stealing over $31,000 in taxpayer money as well as not filing personal income tax returns for years 2008-2011. Harper had various checks deposited into these unauthorized secret accounts that were skimmed off a police fund, and then he used a debit card to withdraw cash as well as use the debit card to spend lavishly on food and alcohol in high-end restaurants, buy a satellite radio, gift cards, perfume, and even an oven upgrade. The full indictment was published by local media.[11]

Special hat bands[edit]

Two Pittsburgh Police vehicles parked at Market Square. In the foreground, a Ford Taurus Police Interceptor with the fleet's new livery, while in the background is a Chevrolet Impala displaying the Bureau's old livery.

One of a kind badge[edit]

In 1873, the Police Badge was designed and officially adopted by the City of Pittsburgh. The badge is a unique design: The crest is from the Coat-of-Arms of William Pitt, the 1st Earl of Chatham, The English gentleman for whom Pittsburgh is named. The garter around the badge is from the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the senior British Order of Chivalry founded by King Edward III in 1348. The shield is a circular fighting shield. used by 15th century Greek foot soldiers. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the circular shield was used extensively in the British Isles, hence its appearance in Pittsburgh. Badge looks similar to the bureau's logo except(see top of page) in the middle the shield there is the officers 4 digit service number/ID number.

Unifroms&Eeuipment[edit]

Officers generally wear a very dark navy blue almost appearing to be black uniform. Officers with the rank of lieutenant and above wear white uniform shirts. SWAT and Tactical units wear olive drab green uniforms. Name tags are either embroidered or the traditional nameplate. Some officers will wear a very dark navy blue/black tie, but this is not a requirement for normal duties. They will also sometimes wear an 8-pointed service cap, with a unique Sillitoe Tartan(explained below). Officers are equipped with O.C. spary(Mace), police radio, duty belt, handcuffs, extra ammunition, service pistol, bulletproof vest, baton, first aid kit, and flashlight. Many officers are now carrying tasers.

Batons[edit]

Some officers carry expandable batons, and some officers carry more traditional wooden straight batons. These straight batons are ornate and beautifully stained in dark brownish and black wood finish. These batons sometimes are connected to a leather strap, as so the officer could twill it around.

Service Pistols[edit]

Service pistols are usually Glocks. The officer must purchase their own service pistol. If officers were hired with the bureau in or prior to the year 1992, they have the option to carry a revolver on duty. Officers hired in 1993 and after must carry a semi-automatic pistol on duty.

Unique Hat Bands[edit]

The Pittsburgh police wear hats with checkered bands, popularly known as the "Sillitoe Tartan" and named after its originator, Percy J. Sillitoe, Chief Constable of Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1930s. While the checkered band is a common police symbol in the United Kingdom, Australia and some European countries, the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Sheriff's Police, the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police are the only police forces in the United States that have adopted it as part of their uniforms.

Pittsburgh Police medals[edit]

The Pittsburgh Police have several honors and medals including:

  • Medal of Valor

The highest honor of any Pittsburgh Police officer. It is awarded only for acts occurring in the most exceptional of circumstances. Recognizing acts of bravery and heroism in the protection of life, while taking on great personal risk and without compromising any bureau mission.

  • Valor Ribbon:

Awarded along with the Medal of Valor.

  • Commendation:

Open to members and non-members of the Pittsburgh Police Bureau who have displayed initiative in performing tasks above and beyond that which is required in a professional manner. In 2007 38 officers received Commendations.

  • Purple Heart:

To those who in the course of criminal apprehension efforts, sustained serious injury, disability or wounds. In 2007 three officers received this award.

  • Meritorious Service:

Open to all officers who have distinguished themselves in exhibiting professional excellence in their tasks or duties. As well as those that contribute significantly towards improving the objectives of the bureau. In 2007 sixteen officers received this award.

  • Bureau of Police Citation:

Open to all officers and non-members who performed a task of bravery or heroism above and beyond the call of duty and in the face of great personal risk in life-saving or life-protecting circumstances. In 2007 nine officers were recognized.

  • Officer of the Month:

Selected by committee of the Chief, Deputy Chief and three Assistant Chiefs from a single nomination from each zone commander, there can be more than one selected per month.

  • Officer of the Year:

Selected from all officers of the months and all officers receiving commendations through the year by committee of the Chief, Deputy Chief and all three Assistant Chiefs.

2009 police shooting[edit]

On April 4, 2009, three Pittsburgh police officers were killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance in the Stanton Heights area of the city. The officers, all from the Zone 5 station are Eric Kelly, a 14-year veteran of the Bureau, Stephen Mayhle, and Paul Sciullo II, both two-year veterans.[12] Two other officers were injured. Timothy McManaway was shot in the hand trying to help Officer Kelly, and Brian Jones broke his leg when a fence collapsed.[13] Police Chief Nathan Harper said Officer Mayhle was married and had two children; Officer Kelly was married and had three children; and Officer Sciullo was single.

Demographics[edit]

2010 Source:[1]

  • Male: 81%
  • Female: 19%
  • White: 83%
  • African-American/Black: 17%

Fallen officers[edit]

Pittsburgh Police Honor Roll

In popular culture[edit]

The city of Pittsburgh is well known throughout the world as having its official colors not only on everything from the official seal and flag to fire hydrants, fire trucks and police cars, but also shared by all of its pro sports teams, and more recently featured in rap/rally videos. Although the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team to have these colors throughout their entire history (starting in 1933), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1948-present) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (1967, 1975, 1980–present) have for generations also been associated with "black and gold". However the very first team in the city's history to associate with its official seal/flag colors were the original NHL franchise Pittsburgh Pirates. The police department of Pittsburgh was instrumental in establishing the "black and gold" tradition for the regions sports teams, in that the teams owner, attorney James Callahan, asked his police officer brother for used and surplus seals and emblems from old police uniforms in 1925. From those donated "logos" the tradition of "black and gold" for the city's franchises was born.[14][15]

The Pittsburgh Police have been featured in many television and film portrayals. Among them:

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/pghbop/10_Police_Annual_Report.pdf
  2. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=RT0dAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lU0EAAAAIBAJ&dq=pieper&pg=1665%2C4604992
  3. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=HZIcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TGIEAAAAIBAJ&dq=safety%20director%20pittsburgh&pg=4315%2C399661
  4. ^ If you wish to find out which zone you live in, you can check this list of neighborhoods or this map.
  5. ^ Pittsburgh Police
  6. ^ a b Vera Institute of Justice
  7. ^ Citizens Police Review Board Members
  8. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/fbi-seizes-pittsburgh-police-files-675125/
  9. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/ravenstahl-controversial-police-accounts-had-hundreds-of-transactions-676002/
  10. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/fbi-irs-investigate-account-connected-to-pittsburgh-police-chiefs-office-675523/
  11. ^ http://www.wtae.com/news/local/allegheny/Former-Pittsburgh-Police-Chief-Nate-Harper-indicted/-/10927008/19425286/-/5hx0ie/-/index.html
  12. ^ Chris Togneri, Chris Togneri (April 5, 2009). "Man 'lying in wait' kills 3 police officers in Stanton Heights". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  13. ^ Nephin, Dan; Ramit Plushnick-Masti (April 4, 2005). "Gunman 'lying in wait' kills 3 Pittsburgh officers". The Associated Press; hosted by google.com. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  14. ^ http://pittsburghhockey.net/old-site/PiratesPages/PiratesLOBBY.html
  15. ^ http://pittsburghhockey.net/old-site/PiratesPages/PiratesJersey.html

External links[edit]