In a recent article the New Pittsburgh Courier asked the question “Who polices the police?” And in a coming edition we are going to ask who is Talent City, the group that selects the people who are hired on the police, public safety and the city as a whole?
In probing police hiring and discipline, Courier reporter Chris Morrow unveiled a much overlooked or hidden fact that unless the law is changed it doesn’t matter who the next police chief is, he or she will have no real power to discipline police officers nor does the mayor or the public safety director.
This is not a city law but a state law that allows law enforcement officers to get away with just about anything because of Act 111, and which can only be changed by the state legislature. One example given was a state policeman who put his loaded gun into a woman’s mouth and threatened to blow her brains out. He was reinstated to the force because the judge said that law enforcement officers had been excused for worse.
It’s really amazing that there haven’t been more incidents of police misconduct throughout the state, which says a lot about the vast majority of the police officers on the force. They are good cops. But if something is not done about this oversight, some serious mess is coming down the road, because bad officers know they can get away with anything, maybe even murder.