Time For A Comprehensive Policy For Police Secondary Employment

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Six years ago, Councilman Bill Peduto called for a comprehensive system to manage both the scheduling of the secondary employment by police and the money owed to the City of Pittsburgh by those who employ them for detail work.

From the Post-Gazette in 2007:

He said the city should fully implement a plan, two years in the making, under which the city would wrest control of the scheduling of police side jobs from entrepreneurs who manage it now, and charge a 10 percent fee on top of the officer’s rate. The officers get up to $38 an hour. The city’s additional fee would cover wear and tear on police uniforms and equipment and help defray the costs of officer injury claims and lawsuits stemming from side jobs.

Both Mayors Murphy and O’Connor and Police Chiefs McNeilly and Costa had been working on a system to handle the issue of secondary employment, but just two months into office, Mayor Ravenstahl had dismantled the system and ended the cost recovery program that was designed to protect taxpayers. He later replaced it with a weaker system in 2007.

As far back as 2007, Peduto recognized the need for the system developed by the two previous mayors to be restored:

He asked Mr. Ravenstahl to “put back into place a system that both Mayor [Tom] Murphy and [Mayor Bob] O’Connor supported,” under which the city would assign all security side jobs and get $4 an hour for each, on top of the officer’s fee.

Now, six years later, the City finds itself still saddled with a system that clearly does not work and allegations of missing money. Pittsburghers deserve a transparent system that protects us from the kinds of fraud and abuse that are coming to light in these past weeks and for a comprehensive policy to be written into our City Code.

You can read moreĀ from the statement issued by Peduto on the sixth anniversary of his demand for a better system here.

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Debit Card, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Neil T’s photostream