Department, union encourage Pittsburgh police officers to be honest in survey
Pittsburgh police officers should be “brutally honest” in an online job satisfaction survey that is part of a national study, a union leader said on Wednesday.
“Maybe going forward, the next administration will be able to more accurately correct the problems with the department,” said Sgt. Mike LaPorte, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1.
Acting police Chief Regina McDonald said she wanted the department to participate in the National Police Research Platform study, despite a federal investigation that led to the indictment of former police Chief Nate Harper and has required police officials to testify before a grand jury.
“We expected there to be some negativity,” McDonald said. “But it's important we hear from the officers. We're not afraid of what the findings will be. Whatever the results are will be a benefit to the next administration.”
The online survey is voluntary and anonymous, and asks officers and civilian employees questions about burnout, job satisfaction, stress, accountability, work-life balance, leadership and other issues. The results will go to researchers through the Center for Research in Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“It really gives the officers a forum to anonymously share their concerns,” McDonald said. “And then we can see what we're doing right and what we need to improve on.”
Professor Dennis Rosenbaum, director of the center in Chicago, said Pittsburgh is among 100 departments nationwide involved in the study.
“We know about crime statistics and clearance rates, but we don't know how organizations function and what makes for organizational excellence,” Rosenbaum said.
McDonald said officers began taking the survey on Tuesday, and it will be available until mid-November. She expects to have the results early next year.
Another part of the study involves surveying people who encounter officers during traffic incidents and criminal investigations, McDonald said.
“We'll identify people who had an interaction with police, and we will forward the survey to them,” she said. “It will give us a good read on how the community feels about the police response and how the interaction went.”
LaPorte said he urged officers to participate in the study through a union newsletter.
“I told them to be brutally honest,” he said.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Columbia Gas offering $10 discount on furnance clean, tune-up
- Legally blind Pirates fan hangs on every play, has kept score for decades
- Former Pennsylvania civil rights investigator from Penn Hills sues agency, alleges discrimination
- Teachers’ roles evolve as districts rely more on computers
- Amid tears, Oakmont church members vow to rebuild from fire
- Teens charged after man stabbed in Karns City home invasion
- Pitt professor’s UV technology destined for Mars in 2020
- Police identify Penn Hills man as victim in Homewood shooting
- Hill District leaders irked as Penguins submit former Civic Arena site plan to city
- Medical research labs pinched by falling federal funding
- Squirrel Hill pantry volunteer’s donation eases struggles for families