Pittsburgh Police Chief Says Making Policies Public Will Benefit Citizen And Officers

Apr 23, 2019

The public can now access hundreds of pages of Pittsburgh police policies in a database on the city website. Chief Scott Schubert says it's an exercise in bureau transparency and hopes it will foster trust with the community. 

Newly available materials include rules governing financial accountabilityuse of force, interactions with police that involve serious injury or death and more. Schubert says the bureau shared everything it legally could; best practices around motor vehicle pursuit are still protected by state law and can’t be made public, and others reflect redacted portions to protect sensitive information. For most, he says it’s the first time these policies have been public, even in print.

Storm clouds roll over the South Side in Pittsburgh.
Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Schubert says the bureau is considering a community advisory board to look at new policies and updates to existing ones. The site housing bureau policies doesn’t currently allow for feedback, but Schubert says he’s open to that. For now, he suggests people contact the police via email or at their main website.

Bureau spokesperson Chris Togneri says some policies may appear unavailable due to  initial technical issues. Once they've been corrected, he says, those policies will be available again.  

Later in the program: 

90.5 WESA's Virginia Alvino Young reports 25 kindergartners in the Fox Chapel Area School District are starting a Spanish language immersion curriculum, including math, science and literature. 

The skies of Pittsburgh are often covered in a vast overcast of clouds. Those gray days made Good Question! listener Rod Tan ask, “Is it true Pittsburgh gets just as many cloudy and rainy days as Seattle?” 90.5 WESA's Mick Stinelli finds the answer. 

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is facing more than 150 charges related to lead levels in Pittsburgh's water. The authority is overseen by the state Public Utility Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection, so why is Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro getting involved? 90.5 WESA's Megan Harris asks Shapiro for an update. 

And the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is wrapping up a four-month listening tour this week. The group traveled from neighborhood to neighborhood to gather public input on all 165 of Pittsburgh's parks. Parks Conservancy CEO Jayne Miller says they'll take that information and use it to inform their investment strategy in the groups overall mission of improving Pittsburgh's parks. Miller said one thing all of the listening sessions have had in common is the love community members have for their neighborhood parks. People interested in providing input on their park but unable to make a listening session can complete a survey here

90.5 WESA's Mick Stinelli contributed to this program.

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