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Pittsburgh police chief reminds 10 promoted officers 'you are role models'

Megan Guza
| Monday, July 11, 2016, 4:30 p.m.
Callen Joyce, 5, of Beechview, sits on the lap of Sgt. Mark Joyce of Zone 5 as he plays with the black band over the sergeant's badge during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016, Downtown.
Stephanie Strasburg
Callen Joyce, 5, of Beechview, sits on the lap of Sgt. Mark Joyce of Zone 5 as he plays with the black band over the sergeant's badge during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016, Downtown.
Assistant Chief of Police Larry Scirotto places his hand over his heart at the beginning of a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016, Downtown. Scirotto was promoted  from commander to Assistant Chief of Police for the city. Officers wore black bands over their badges to show respect for the officers lost in the Dallas shootings last week.
Stephanie Strasburg
Assistant Chief of Police Larry Scirotto places his hand over his heart at the beginning of a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016, Downtown. Scirotto was promoted from commander to Assistant Chief of Police for the city. Officers wore black bands over their badges to show respect for the officers lost in the Dallas shootings last week.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McClay speaks during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. 'Every day, let your actions honor those who came before you,' said McClay, who spoke on the Bureau's core values. 'Model integrity... Model compassion... You exist to serve those that you lead.'
Stephanie Strasburg
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McClay speaks during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. 'Every day, let your actions honor those who came before you,' said McClay, who spoke on the Bureau's core values. 'Model integrity... Model compassion... You exist to serve those that you lead.'
Ten members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police listen to Chief Cameron McClay address them during their promotion ceremony in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. 'Be mindful of everything you do,' spoke McClay.
Stephanie Strasburg
Ten members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police listen to Chief Cameron McClay address them during their promotion ceremony in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. 'Be mindful of everything you do,' spoke McClay.
City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto speaks during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. Peduto emphasized coming together as the city and nation deals with what he called one of the hardest times in our city and country's history to be a police officer.
Stephanie Strasburg
City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto speaks during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. Peduto emphasized coming together as the city and nation deals with what he called one of the hardest times in our city and country's history to be a police officer.
Lt. David Meade smiles as his daughter, Bayleigh Meade, 12, of Brookline, pins his badge on him during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. Meade was promoted from a sergeant to lieutenant of Zone 2.
Stephanie Strasburg
Lt. David Meade smiles as his daughter, Bayleigh Meade, 12, of Brookline, pins his badge on him during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. Meade was promoted from a sergeant to lieutenant of Zone 2.
From left to right, Cmdr. Ed Trapp, Cmdr. Cristyn Zett, and Cmdr. Stephen Vinasky raise their hands as they take their oath during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. The three were all promoted from lieutenant to commander.
Stephanie Strasburg
From left to right, Cmdr. Ed Trapp, Cmdr. Cristyn Zett, and Cmdr. Stephen Vinasky raise their hands as they take their oath during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. The three were all promoted from lieutenant to commander.
Cmdr. Cristyn Zett, right, gets a hug from her son, Gavin, 7, and a kiss from her mother, Noel Baker, far right, all of Beechview, after being promoted from lieutenant during promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016, Downtown. Also promoted from police officer to sergeant was her husband, Richard Zett, left, tickling their daughter Emma, 5, here in the photo. On far left, Zone 5 Cmdr. Jason Lando congratulates the couple.
Stephanie Strasburg
Cmdr. Cristyn Zett, right, gets a hug from her son, Gavin, 7, and a kiss from her mother, Noel Baker, far right, all of Beechview, after being promoted from lieutenant during promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016, Downtown. Also promoted from police officer to sergeant was her husband, Richard Zett, left, tickling their daughter Emma, 5, here in the photo. On far left, Zone 5 Cmdr. Jason Lando congratulates the couple.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McClay talks after a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. 'Every day, let your actions honor those who came before you,' said McClay, who spoke on the Bureau's core values. 'Model integrity... Model compassion... You exist to serve those that you lead.'
Stephanie Strasburg
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McClay talks after a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown. 'Every day, let your actions honor those who came before you,' said McClay, who spoke on the Bureau's core values. 'Model integrity... Model compassion... You exist to serve those that you lead.'
Sgt. William Fleske holds still as his wife Alessa pins his badge on him after being promoted from detective during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown.
Stephanie Strasburg
Sgt. William Fleske holds still as his wife Alessa pins his badge on him after being promoted from detective during a promotion ceremony for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in City Council Chambers on Monday, July 11, 2016 in Downtown.

Pittsburgh Police Assistant Chief Larry Scirotto planned to celebrate his promotion Monday with a trip to Olive Garden with his 14 aunts and uncles but, after that, it would be business as usual.

“It's back to work,” said Scirotto, who was promoted from commander to assistant chief during a ceremony in council chambers. “We have to look at every system for every opportunity for our organization to improve.”

Scirotto, 43, said his promotion and career have been a dream come true.

“This is my dream position,” he said. “It's a career goal. To achieve that goal is truly humbling.”

In addition to Scirotto, nine others received promotions: Lts. Clarence Trapp, Cristyn Zett and Stephen Vinansky to commander; Sgt. David Meade to lieutenant; and Det. Philip Mercurio, Det. Tracy Clington, and Ofcs. Matthew Redpath, Richard Zett and William Fleske to sergeant.

Scirotto will move from head of the Major Crimes Unit to the Office of Professional Standards, an office established last year. He said the past year and a half has been a whirlwind.

Chief Cameron McLay promoted Scirotto to commander in late 2014. A Zone 3 lieutenant in Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood, Scirotto was tapped to lead the zone upon former Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly's retirement.

McLay said at the time he was looking for role models to promote to commander. On Monday, he said the same held true.

“You are role models, whether you want to be or not —whether you are conscious of it or not,” McLay said at the start of the ceremony. “Others are watching you in everything you do.”

He reminded the officers to be mindful of the lessons they teach others.

Scirotto said as head of the Office of Professional Standards, he will be responsible for analyzing and auditing the bureau's standards, conduct and performance management.

He noted challenges facing policing in the 21st century, but said it's “an opportunity to do all the things you wish the person before you had done, pretty much.”

He said police brass have an obligation to officers as well as the community to create best practices and continue training in order to form a true partnership between police and citizens.

“You have to not just say it, but believe it,” he said.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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