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Longtime officer mentored others

| Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 8:49 a.m.

Edward A. Kearns spent much of his life as a Pittsburgh policeman trying to make things better for fellow officers and mentoring those who followed in their footsteps.

Mr. Kearns, 86, of Whitehall, who served as president of Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, Fraternal Order of Police, from 1974-78, died on Sunday. He was a city police officer from 1956 until his retirement as a sergeant in 1981, family members said.

“He was dedicated to the FOP,” said a daughter, Kimberly Reitmeyer. “He was dedicated to making the life of a police officer better and dedicated to making the police force better. He was a mentor to many of the FOP presidents who came after him.

Reitmeyer said her father fought to have the city pay for continuing education for officers.

“He wanted police officers to be better educated. He believed that the more you knew the criminal justice system and the law, the better officer you would be,” she said.

One of his major accomplishments was getting three-hour guaranteed paid court overtime for officers who had to be in court when they were not working.

“Before that, you would work all night and then spend six hours in court and all you would get was a $5 witness fee,” said Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen, a 37-year Pittsburgh police veteran before joining the sheriff's department. “He was a bright guy with a lot of new ideas.”

Mr. Kearns is survived by his wife, Marlene Stobbe Kearns; another daughter, Karen Boyle; and two sons, Edward Kearns Jr. and Jeffrey Kearns.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the John F. Slater Funeral Home Inc., Brownsville Road, Brentwood. Funeral services will be Thursday morning.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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