Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is expected to name Nate Harper as the city’s new police chief today, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Harper replaces Dominic Costa, who retired last month, citing medical problems related to a 2002 bullet wound suffered in a botched hostage standoff. Harper, 53, assistant chief in charge of the investigations branch, will be the first African-American chief since Earl Buford, who served from 1992 to 1995. The appointment likely will help address a growing chorus of concern that the city’s leadership is not diverse.
Since the death of mayor Bob O’Connor and the resignation of Costa, the Black Politial Empowerment Project has asked the mayor to consider Harper. The group said that naming Harper “would be an immediate bridge builder, which is so important in this role of both peacemaker, and as the chief protector of the citizens of our city.”