Regarding the Jan. 14 article about police moonlighting (“Pittsburgh Police Union President Attempted to Back Out of Moonlighting Rules,” post-gazette.com), I think I can speak for the entire rank and file in stating that it wasn’t our fault that public safety director Mike Huss’s subordinate, former Chief Nate Harper, conspired to steal from the police department while under his direct supervision. Who was asleep at the wheel while this was happening? It certainly wasn’t the men and women who put on the uniform on their days off to work, I assure you of that.
Now he’s trying to “throw the baby out with the bath water” by imposing strenuous restraints on hard-working police officers who work all over the city at zero cost to the taxpayers! In reality, overtime details (or “moonlighting”) have generated millions of dollars of revenue while putting countless numbers of volunteering officers in high-stress, dangerous situations to ensure the public’s safety (i.e., parades, sporting events, traffic problems, bars, etc.).
Believe me when I say that we would much rather be paid a wage competitive with municipalities that border our city than leave our homes on our days off and work details. If you don’t believe we are worth the competitive salaries our bordering boroughs pay, ask every single municipality how much they think we are worth, considering that their rosters are stocked with former city officers and they can’t seem to hire us fast enough.
If your readers knew how few of us there were out on your streets on any given day or night, they would certainly appreciate those of us who leave our families and homes, put on our uniforms and work a detail on our own time that keeps our neighbors and city safe.
FRANCESCO ROSATO JR.
The writer is a city of Pittsburgh police detective.