Candidates must address police corruption

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A March 23 Post-Gazette headline says it well: "How Did More Than $70,000 in Stolen Checks Go Unnoticed?" Indeed, how did years of Pittsburgh police abuse of the public trust go unnoticed, unchecked and unpunished?

We should not forget that the current headline-grabbing stories about police moonlighting, multiple jobs, slush funds, personal "bodyguards," parasitic insider businesses, Wild West ambushes of traffic violators and unprovoked beatings of youth have produced barely a rise from the elected watchdogs and political aspirants. It's a sad commentary on the integrity and courage of elected officials and those who have jumped out to vie for the soon-vacant mayoral seat that they will not take the lead on this question. Or are they waiting for the toothless, pathetic Citizens Police Review Board to step up?

And the Pittsburgh media can take no credit from this fiasco. The federal authorities -- and likely inside whistle blowers -- exposed the corruption rotting away the highest levels of the police department with the media only tailing distantly.

Those who so self-righteously place public safety on their agenda must step up and call for a complete and thorough reform of the Pittsburgh police. Only then will citizens be confident that there will be no more slush funds, crony deals, job distractions and Jordan Miles incidents.

No city council or mayoral candidate should be allowed to duck this issue.

WILLIAM BELT
Uptown


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