St. Patrick's Day parade conflicts with Allegheny County police test
By Margaret Harding
Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Pittsburgh police leaders don't want work on a particularly rowdy parade day to compete with some officers' efforts to find work elsewhere.
To that end, Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson told city officers in an email on Friday that he's asked Allegheny County officials to consider rescheduling the county police written test for employment. It's set for March 15 in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, on the same day as the St. Patrick's Day parade.
“We're trying to accommodate,” Acting Chief Regina McDonald said. “I have no idea how many people were planning to take the test.”
Police this week canceled discretionary days off for parade day, meaning officers are not allowed to take the day off if they have not requested it, McDonald said.
“Some officers have already indicated they were planning to take the test,” McDonald said. “(Donaldson) is working with the county to see about the possibility of having the test later that day or on another day.”
Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 President Mike LaPorte, a sergeant, said Donaldson's request is “indicative of the severe state of the department.” Still, he said, it was a smart move.
“I think it's completely appropriate,” LaPorte said. “He's doing what needs to be done to make sure there are enough bodies on the street. Can you imagine if half the force didn't work that day to go find work somewhere else?”
The parade day is one of several days throughout the year police will cancel discretionary days off to make sure there are enough officers working to handle calls, McDonald said.
There are about 850 officers on the force. The 2014 city budget allocates funding for 892 officers.
“It's a very busy day because of the parade,” McDonald said. “We need officers to work the parade, and then we have a lot of activity in the South Side and Station Square. We want to make sure that the zones have enough people to respond to calls.”
Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs said the county is considering the request.
“We want to provide the opportunity to as many people as possible to test,” Downs said. “Having applicants be able to get into town in a timely manner is also a consideration, particularly on parade day, and so we are looking at whether another date would be possible.”
Downs said 194 people have applied to county police to take the test. County police hired three former Pittsburgh officers this year, according to a 2014 employee roster. Since 2012, at least six other former city officers have joined the county force.
The deadline to apply for a position with county police is Feb. 14.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- 4-car crash near Fox Chapel snarls Route 28 traffic
- Trial begins in Steelers stabbing
- Wuerl tells faithful all Catholics are responsible for schools
- Proposal to drill in West Deer and Frazer draws comments from both sides
- Democrats consider Pittsburgh for 2016 national convention
- Landmark former school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to incubate startups
- Post 9/11 veterans lend skills to community leadership course
- Bullied South Fayette student’s case prompts wiretap overhaul legislation
- Newsmaker: Leah Pileggi
- Western Pa. colleges schedule commencement
- Landslides put Baldwin firefighters in financial peril