A change in state law has opened the door to eliminating a requirement that Pittsburgh police officers live in the city they are sworn to protect.
That door should be slammed shut.
Last year, a state law that said Pittsburgh police officers “shall” reside within the city was softened to say that officers “may” do so. That language would be completely meaningless — of course officers may live in the city — but for the City Code, which includes a residency provision that applies to all city employees.
The change in state law provided an opening for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1 to challenge the requirement, and during a recent arbitration hearing, dozens of current and former officers testified in support of abolishing the residency rule.