Schubert ponders balancing support for officers with calls for reform

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert is stepping down. Next week, he starts a new job with the FBI in West Virginia after a tumultuous few years in Pittsburgh.

Even as a little boy, Scott Schubert knew he would follow in the footsteps of a policeman father and become a cop.

“When I saw how much people respected him, how much he respected others and how professional he was, I knew I just wanted to be a police officer,” he said.

Rising through the ranks, he became a leader when respect for police fell to new levels as gun violence reached new heights, often finding himself caught in the middle, balancing support for his officers while responding to calls. of the community to reform.

“And that’s okay. It’s my job to be caught in the middle of it all and try to unite,” he said.

Following the Black Lives Matter protests, Schubert knelt with protesters on West Liberty Avenue, which angered some officers, but Schubert said the protest was not against the Pittsburgh police but specifically against the Minneapolis police actions and George’s death. Floyd.

“Taking the knee for that, I don’t regret it,” he said. “I felt it was the right thing to do to help unite the community.”

But although Schubert initiated many policing reforms, including community policing and implicit bias and de-escalation training, his tenure saw a major setback in police-community relations with the death of Jim Rogers in jail.

“We didn’t do what we were supposed to do. I can’t say much about it, but we have a duty to take care of the people in our care and that didn’t happen,” he said. declared.

And yet, amid all the calls for reform, gun violence has soared. While homicides have increased, the solve rate, or solution rate, has declined in recent years. And this year, there have been no arrests in the filming outside Oliver Citywide Academy and the Easter scrum in an Airbnb.

“These are active investigations, you will hear more about them in the future and I think people will be held accountable,” he said.

Still, Schubert says police need more help and support from the community to solve crimes.

“Believe me, I completely understand how someone would be afraid to come forward for retaliation, but when you have violent people on the streets, we have to do whatever we can to get them out,” he said. he declares.

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