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Identity & Community

Pittsburgh Police Officers Asked to Not Blame Mayor for Citations Issued

As the Pittsburgh Police continue to work to mend relationships with the community, some officers are allegedly throwing the mayor under the bus. Director of Public Safety Stephen Bucar has sent an e-mail to the new police chief, asking that officers stop blaming Mayor Bill Peduto for tickets they issue.

“If our officers are not enforcing the law then they’re not doing their job and then that’s another issue that needs to be address,” said Sonya Toler, spokeswoman for the city’s Public Safety Department. “And it’s not a matter of the mayor telling anyone to ‘do your job,’ it’s what they are supposed to do.”

At issue is the allegation that some officers are telling people they are citing that they are being ordered to do so by the mayor. That, said Toler, could be a misunderstanding – it could be that officers are responding to calls made to the Mayor’s Complaint Line.

“When certain calls are dispatched, they are expressed to be mayor’s complaints, but that doesn’t mean that it’s coming from the man that everyone elected to be mayor,” said Toler, “they are calls that went to the Mayor’s Complaint Line.”

Still, Acting Police Chief Cameron McLay said he would disseminate the request from Bucar to command staff in the hopes it would filter down through the rank-and-file. Toler said Bucar and McLay have made their expectations of officers clear.

“Officers are going to enforce the law and are going to do that in a professional manner,” she said. “Part of that professionalism is not making excuses for doing their job, it’s just explaining to people who break the law, ‘this is the law and you are expected to follow it, just like we are expected to enforce it.’”