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67 apply to become next Pittsburgh police chief

Bob Bauder

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has a long list from which to choose a police chief.

Sixty-seven people from across the country applied for the job, according to Talent City, a recruitment program that a group of foundations established to help Peduto find top administrators.

The application period ended on July 31.

“My goal is that somebody will be offered that position and hopefully accept it during the first week of September,” Peduto said.

Regina McDonald has served as acting police chief since Nate Harper stepped down in February 2013 amid a scandal that landed him in prison. He pleaded guilty to using police department funds to make personal purchases and to failing to pay income taxes for years.

Christopher Whitlatch, spokesman for Talent City, said 23 candidates for the chief’s job are from the Pittsburgh region. Forty-four are from states such as Virginia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington, New York and Florida.

He declined to identify the candidates.

Whitlach said a 10-member screening committee will whittle the list, using criteria supplied by the administration and recommendations from residents during public meetings.

By Aug. 18, the committee will recommend three to five finalists.

“Now the mayor can take that slate and decide to hire someone from that slate, or he could go back to the committee and say: ‘I want a few more candidates to look at,’ ” Whitlatch said.

Peduto said he would interview the candidates with Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar and Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin. Peduto said his brother — David Peduto of Sewickley, a retired Army colonel and psychologist who profiled candidates for the Army Special Forces ­— would participate in the interviews.

Peduto has said hiring a chief with input from residents and police officers is a priority.

He said the same about hiring a public safety director, which proved harder than anticipated. Two candidates turned down job offers before Bucar accepted in May.

The Talent City program is set to end when the police chief search is completed, Whitlatch said.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or [email protected].


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