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City Council And University Update Police Cooperation Agreement

City Council members gave preliminary approval to updated cooperative police services agreement between city officers and University of Pittsburgh Police.

“Departments that overlap have to have agreements in place so they can share information and act in their partner’s jurisdictions,” said Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar. “The University of Pittsburgh sits in the city and quite often there are issues where our police officers are responding to an incident in the city but within the campus.”

There was an agreement in place that hadn’t been updated since 2007. Bucar said he was concerned about the ambiguity of how and with whom it allowed criminal history to be shared.

“This agreement is a more specific updated agreement, drafted by the law department to cover my concerns about who in the university we’re sharing information with and what kind of information is being shared,” Bucar said.

Both police departments assist one another in crimes on and off campus. Assistant Chief Tom Stangrecki with the city's Office of Professional Standards said the two offices have a good working relationship, but he agreed the policy needed to be updated.

The new agreement isn’t for a set amount of time, but it can be ended upon notice from the Pittsburgh Police.

Bucar, who took over the city's pubic safety department last year, said he assumes agreements are in place with other in-city schools, including Point Park University, Carnegie Mellon University or Duquesne University, but they have not come up for renewal or scrutiny.

Council will take a final vote on Tuesday.