The Ferguson tragedy raises questions about Pittsburgh's police training

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Recent police-related events should be a cautionary tale for Pittsburgh.

The events of the past several weeks in Missouri and New York should provide a road map for the Peduto administration and its search for a new police chief. This raises the question of what is the status of the search for a new police chief. Hopefully, the administration is searching for someone who has significant law enforcement credentials but also someone who appreciates diversity, innovation, best practices, transparency and accountability. No expense should be spared.

Recent events also raise the issue of police training or lack thereof. What are the parameters of training for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County officers, state police and the county sheriff’s deputies? Does anyone know? I am curious and I am sure others are as well. How much training does one need to shoot and kill a citizen, as was the case near St. Louis? I would presume, perhaps wrongly, that trained police officers could apprehend someone with a knife, as opposed to shooting and killing that person! At least shoot to wound, not to kill. So it begs the question of what is required training to become a city of Pittsburgh police officer.

I think it would serve the Peduto administration well to get in front of these questions before Pittsburgh becomes another Ferguson.

Darnell Moses
Hill District


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