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Pittsburgh Police Chief Ready To Keep Moving Forward, Even After "No Confidence" Vote

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh's Police Chief Cameron McLay has been on the job for two years.

He came into a department where the former chief was convicted of a crime, and there was a lot of internal and external strife.

Chief McLay says Mayor Bill Peduto hired him with a plan.

"The mayor hired me to do three things," Chief McLay said. "To implement data driving policing, hired me to improve relationships with the communities we serve and hired me for the difficult task of improving morale."

There is now a new data driven system in place the command staff uses daily. It's a system that updates hourly, showing community hotspots, where crimes are occurring and what crimes they are.

"What this allows us to do is be responsive to where the crime is and put officers where the crimes are occurring," said McLay. "Use data to figure out not just where, but when, [and] analytics to figure out not just when, but who."

The FOP recently completed a straw poll to assess the union's confidence with its chief.

The majority of those who voted said they do not have confidence in McLay.

His response, "Do they understand the vision? Do they have the feeling they have to tools to succeed in this type of policing?"

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McLay was also asked about a recent order, now rescinded, that has come under fire. The proposal had city officers not responding in person to certain police calls, like aggravated assault or harassment.

McLay argues he didn't create the order. It's been on the books for 10 years.

"I understand the emotional appeal of wanting a cop to come, but the reality is this practice is in place. It is a best practice used nationwide and this community cannot afford, especially under Act 47 to hire enough police officers that everybody gets to see an officer," he said.

The FOP takes a final vote on confidence and the chief later this week, but the mayor has already given his support to the current chief.


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