10% of Pittsburgh police eye jobs with county department
At least 10 percent of Pittsburgh police are looking for a job with another department.
Ninety-three city officers took the written test in March to become Allegheny County police officers, according to documents the Tribune-Review obtained. Pittsburgh's department has 887 officers, including 52 recruits, Acting Chief Regina McDonald said.
“We have officers taking tests with the county, with the sheriff, with surrounding municipalities and federal agencies,” McDonald said. “We don't panic because people put in applications.”
City officers cite better pay and the ability to live outside the city when taking jobs with suburban departments. Starting salary for a county police officer is $51,364 a year, but it increases to $77,995 after 18 months of service. The starting rate for a city police officer is $42,548. A fourth-year officer makes $60,779, according to the 2014 city budget.
Of the 93 officers, 32 have worked for the city less than 15 years; six of those are from the last two recruit classes. Officers generally become eligible to retire after 20 years of service.
“This day and age, young people seek opportunities,” McDonald said. “It doesn't matter what profession you're in. You don't have the commitment or the loyalty that people did when I came on. It was natural for officers to stay on for 30 to 35 years.”
County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt, a former Pittsburgh officer, referred comment to county spokeswoman Amie Downs. She said there are 11 open posts, but retirements can change that. Twenty-two former city officers work for county police, she said.
“Officers, period, are good candidates because of their experience, but they do not receive any special consideration because they are/were officers with another law enforcement entity,” Downs said. “The process is a civil service one.”
In March, former Pittsburgh police Lt. Kevin Kraus retired to join the Allegheny County Sheriff's Department. He is among 22 officers who retired, resigned or faced termination from the city force this year. In 2013, 54 officers left the city department, according to the police pension board.
Ten veteran recruits — those with experience as police — will begin field training on Monday, McDonald said. Four will start later. Thirty-eight basic recruits will finish training early next year. Police plan to start another class in the fall of at least 22 recruits, she said.
“We've been dealing with this for years, and I think we're trying to stay ahead of the ball,” McDonald said.
“We're doing everything we possibly can to keep our budgeted strength.”
Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
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.
- 2nd command officer at Allegheny County Jail punished
- Terror threat doesn’t keep Pittsburgh International travelers down
- In letter, Plum school superintendent reassures parents on safety
- Pittsburgh on cusp of leaving fiscal oversight
- McCullough’s attorney alleges ‘peculiar’ behavior of judge in withdrawn motion
- Pittsburgh police chief limits chases, orders review of policy
- North Side stabber sentenced to 20 to 40 years
- Penn Hills school board unanimously fires former business director
- North Hills nonprofit helps victims of domestic abuse with small loans
- Allegheny County closings for the holiday
- Pitcairn cable, Internet rates likely going up $5 each in January