Pittsburgh’s police face their largest layoffs in memory, as well as mass transfers, demotions and the shuttering of a station, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Police brass haven’t yet announced the details. “The chief was unable to give us a detailed explanation of what would take place,” said the Fraternal Order of Police. “There are a lot of questions, and no real answers to them,” said Cmdr. Cheryl Doubt of the South Side station, echoing the sentiments of nearly all her peers of every rank. Doubt was informed before Wednesday’s announcement of police layoffs by Mayor Tom Murphy that she would be demoted to lieutenant.
Murphy said 102 police officers would be terminated, whittling the bureau’s ranks to slightly more than 900 sworn members. More officers will be lost to retirement. The layoffs are part of a larger reduction of city workers and program cutbacks to help close a $60 million budget deficit this year. Many police officers were caught by surprise by the depth of the layoffs; veterans seemed stunned to witness such deep cuts, never imagining such a thing would happen during their careers.