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Pittsburgh Police Chief McLay Announces Resignation

Megan Harris
90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay announced his resignation from the Pittsburgh Police Department on Friday. 

Mayor Bill Peduto called a news conference to address escalating rumors.

"There are other things in Chief McLay's future," Peduto said.

Assistant Chief Scott Schubert will serve as acting chief for 90 days. Peduto said there is no search for McLay’s successor, rather the 90 days is a chance for Schubert to prove his ability to take on the role.

McLay angered some rank-and-file officers by addressing the Democratic National Convention in July in uniform, and because of other differences that McLay said emerged as he tried to reform the department and improve community and race relations.

“The time has come for me to pass the torch,” McLay said. “At this point I earnestly believe that I have accomplished all that I am able to do.”

He said he recognized the time to resign had been getting close for several months.

He said the Police Union’s vote of no-confidence in September was not the reason for his departure. Neither were the conflicting reports by the Citizens Police Review Board and Office of Municipal Investigations that he had or had not violated city code with his DNC appearance.

“Like any agency undergoing major change, we have been having our growing pains, and we will continue to do so, because change is hard,” McLay said.

He urged the bureau to stay the course. McLay’s acting successor Schubert and Mayor Peduto both said very little will change within the bureau, and they will double down on McLay’s vision of 21st Century policing.

“I’ve gone out of my way not to look for other jobs,” McLay said.

He said there are lots of vacancies in police bureaus across the country, because it’s par for the course that those attempting reform, particularly in urban bureaus, experience great push back.

He said he has considered going back to Wisconsin and likes the idea of having more time to be a grandfather.