Bucar grilled by City Council, likely to win approval as public safety chief
Members of Pittsburgh City Council said they likely will confirm Stephen Bucar next week as Pittsburgh's new public safety director, but that didn't stop them from peppering him with questions for about three hours on Wednesday.
“He's obviously had an honorable and distinguished career in law enforcement, and I think that will serve us well in overseeing all of our public safety divisions,” said Councilman Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze. “I haven't heard anything negative.”
Burgess repeated a contention that animosity between Pittsburgh police and black city residents is at a crisis level. He said reforms must include improved police-community relations.
“I don't disagree with anything you're saying,” Bucar replied, noting that one of his first moves was to assign an officer to handle public outreach. “I know I have to break those barriers down.”
Other council members urged Bucar, 54, to work to obtain better equipment for public safety personnel, reduce neighborhood violence and squelch police misconduct.
“He clearly has a firm grasp of the enormity of the position he is taking,” Council President Bruce Kraus of the South Side said. “Skill set has to balance with personality, and he brings that complete package.”
The native of West Brownsville in Washington County said a primary reason he retired from the FBI and accepted the position with Pittsburgh was because it presented an opportunity to return to Western Pennsylvania.
“I'm here because I want to be here, and I am committed to making it better than I found it,” he said.
Bucar, who once was a West Brownsville police officer and Pennsylvania state trooper, declined to comment after council's interview session.
Bucar's salary is $125,000 a year. If he is confirmed, he will replace Public Safety Director Michael Huss, who remains a city employee.
Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, said Huss continues to assist with public safety and has accepted a pay reduction to $105,000. Peduto has said he wants to keep Huss in some role with the city.
Huss declined to comment on his job status.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 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.
- County police officer on leave after assault charges filed
- Gunfire wounds man near Riverview Park
- One person taken to hospital after fire in Scott
- Civil War vet gets 21-gun salute
- Teen caught after stolen car crashes in Homewood
- Overnight closures, lane restrictions announced for Fort Pitt Tunnel, Parkway West
- Man convicted in North Side stabbing
- Flooded out of Big Easy, veterinarian builds new life in Lawrenceville
- Pa. trooper jailed in co-worker’s fatal shooting during training class
- Port Authority of Allegheny County eyes $2M in detour costs
- Allegheny County Airport gets FAA grant to trim trees under flight path