Pittsburgh City Council approves next Police Chief Larry Scirotto

Larry Scirotto
Larry Scirotto Photo credit Shelby Cassesse/KDKA Radio

Pittsburgh City Council has unanimously appointed Larry Scirotto as the city's next Police Chief.

All nine council members voted in favor of officially making Scirotto Pittsburgh Police Chief.

Councilman Anthony Coghill joined other members of council, saying he was impressed after meeting Scirotto.

“I was really impressed with the knowledge that he has of the challenges he is facing,” said Coghill. “The first thing I asked him was how many police officers do you have and he knew that number right on, I think he recognizes the challenges. He won me over.”

Scirotto faces many challenges in the city including concerns over gun violence and a decrease in the number of officers on the force.

He said during a council hearing last week that officers should be protecting the city, not wasting time on things like parking complaints and false burglar alarms.

Scirotto says nearly 100 percent of burglar alarms are false, but police have to respond to them they take about 30 minutes to complete the call, taking up hour and hours of an officer’s time.

Scirotto comes with some baggage.

He was fired as Chief of Police in Fort Lauderdale over claims he disproportionately hired and promoted minority candidates.

Scirotto filed a wrongful termination lawsuit and said during his initial press conference that those moves were based on merit, adding of the 15 promotions during his tenure, six were minorities.

“I was hired to create a fair environment where all of the officers . . . felt they had the same opportunity no matter what their ethnicity was, no matter what your gender was, what your orientation was,” said Scirotto.

There were also concerns over his other job as an NCAA basketball referee, suggesting it would interfere with his full-time job.

Gainey says Scirotto does plan to continue refereeing as Pittsburgh’s Police Chief.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Shelby Cassesse/KDKA Radio