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South Hills

Brentwood mayor starts monthly meetings with police

| Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

In what he calls an attempt to improve communication with its police force, the Brentwood Borough mayor has started holding monthly, and optional, informational sessions for department members to explain procedural changes he is making.

“It's an effort to continue to solicit and receive their feedback,” said Mayor Dennis Troy, who announced these monthly meetings at the Nov. 20 council meeting. Meetings are scheduled for the first Friday of each month, Troy said.

The 13-man department gave police Chief Adam Zeppuhar a vote of no-confidence in September — an action stemming from grievances filed more than a year ago that indicated problems with traffic citations being withdrawn and officers not being allowed to go to court to follow-up on an arrest.

Zeppuhar could not be reached for comment about the monthly meetings.

“We've only had one meeting and found it counter-productive,” said Officer Mike Fisher, the local union representative for Teamster 205. “Morale remains extremely low in the department.”

Troy said he is making these changes to bring the department in line with neighboring South Hills communities.

One of the main police department policies Troy is changing is when officers have to go to court. For example, if police arrest someone for taking a $25 item, rather than going to court for four hours, the incident is taken care of internally, usually through community service.

Troy said the department also is looking at making changes to its DUI policy and is looking at having officers wear body cameras.

“I am not going to be implementing anything that has not been tried and tested,” Troy said. “I want a police department worthy of Brentwood Borough and its taxpayers.”

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at selliott@tribweb.com or 412-871-2346.

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