In recent years, it has not been surprising to see graduating classes from the Pittsburgh Police Academy that were either all-White, all-male, or sometimes both.
That is not the case with the most recent class of new officers who were sworn in June 27. Of the 19 graduates, five are Black males and one is a Black female.
This prompted Black Political Empowerment Project founder Tim Stevens to write a letter commending Pittsburgh Police Chief Ron Schubert and Mayor Bill Peduto for their efforts to diversify the force.
“These numbers are much more reflective of what we hope to see in future classes for the City of Pittsburgh,” he wrote, in a letter obtained by the New Pittsburgh Courier.
“We realize that reaching these numbers is not an easy accomplishment, but it is one that must remain a top priority for your administration and the city.”
Peduto, who recently tasked new Deputy Director of Civil Service and Personnel Janet Manuel to increase minority recruiting and application for city jobs, said he is pleased with the results evidenced by this class.
“Increasing police hiring—with an added focus on recruiting qualified minority candidates—has been a top priority of my administration and will continue to be moving forward,” he said.
“Police staffing is at its highest level in more than a decade, and our ability to attract more minority candidates has been a citywide effort including the departments of Public Safety, Personnel and Law, as well as partnerships with Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.”