Mayor Peduto to begin search for new police chief

Pittsburgh officials have begun their national search for a police chief, Mayor Bill Peduto said Friday.

The new hire will receive a salary of $109,160 and will be screened by a foundation-backed group called Talent City, which also has handled the application process for several other high-profile city positions.

The police bureau has been overseen by an acting police chief, Regina McDonald, since February 2013, when then-Chief Nate Harper was forced to resign amid a federal investigation. Harper is serving time in a federal prison on charges that he worked with others to steal from the bureau and failed to file income tax returns.

Throughout the hiring process for a new police chief, Mr. Peduto said he planned to meet with several community groups. He said in a statement that he met Friday morning with children who are part of the Hear Me project, which strives to improve relationships between young people and the police.

Additional meetings will be held in conjunction with community public safety councils at each neighborhood police station, according information from the mayor's office.

"It is paramount that we work diligently and put in the necessary time and energy to find the right person for this position. In order to do this right, we need to receive input and insight from residents of Pittsburgh to aid in the decision-making process," Mr. Peduto said.

In its posting, the city says it is looking for candidates who have bachelor's degrees -- and preferably master's degrees -- in public safety-related fields and who have at least 10 years of experience in police work. Of those 10 years, at least eight ideally should be in supervisory roles, the city wrote.

Applicants must have current certifications, and preference will be given to people who have worked in departments in cities of a similar size or larger than Pittsburgh, according to the posting.

Liz Navratil:, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published May 30, 2014 2:37 PM

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