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Critics Oppose Promotion Of Zone 2 Police Commander

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police will promote Zone 2 Commander George Trosky to assistant chief of investigations.

"His body of work over 34 years has [been] tremendous," Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "His work recently as a commander in reducing the crime in his zone is significant. We all know that Commander Trosky many years ago was involved in something that he regrets. It was a big mistake, he's paid for that mistake."

One of the mistakes in Commander Trosky's past includes being caught on tape punching a concert-goer outside the old Civic Arena more than 20 years ago.

There were also allegations of domestic violence – charges he punched his wife in the nose, but she didn't pursue the charges.

The mayor says that's in the past and that's what he said when Trosky was promoted to commander back in 2007. But critics of the process say police promotions need to be more uniform and transparent.

"Is there a standardized criteria that one has to meet to be considered for this kind of a promotion?" Beth Pittinger of the Police Citizens Review Board said. "Do they check individuals being considered for fitness? Do they do background checks? Are there integrity checks?"

"I think in any job setting whether it be corporate, governmental or otherwise, there's usually a general set criteria that allows you to move up the chain and go for a promotion," Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle said. "However, we have to recognize that on top of that there's always a subjective qualification from your superiors who have had interactions with you."

As the assistant chief of investigations, Commander Trosky will oversee all major crimes investigations, including crimes against women which is why Jeanne Clark, president of the National Organization of Women, opposed Trosky's promotion in 2007 and again this time.

She doesn't fault Trosky. She faults the mayor.

"The message is that the mayor doesn't care about women," she said. "He doesn't care about domestic violence. When we disagreed with this appointment for Commander Trosky to become a commander, he [the mayor] said he got it, he was zero tolerance policy and nothing like this would happen again."

The mayor says he stands by the selection process and recognizes there were several other qualified candidates.

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