For the first time in more than a century, Pittsburgh police officers will not have to live in the city where they work, according to a draft arbitration award announced Thursday that thrilled the police union but spurred deep concerns elsewhere, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The draft award used language suggested by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1 that sets a radius for officers to live within 25 air miles of the City-County Building, Downtown.
An attorney for the police union said the residency decision pertains only to the force's 842 rank-and-file members, not the small command staff. Once the decision is made final, police officers will enjoy a benefit that no other city employee has. Teachers with Pittsburgh Public Schools are not required to be city residents, but the district's other employees are.
But the police union president, Sgt. Michael LaPorte, said changes would be through collective bargaining and only after the current contract expires in December.