The city of Pittsburgh appealed an arbitration award that would allow the city’s rank-and-file police officers to live up to 25 miles outside city limits, lifting a longtime requirement that applies to all other city employees, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Last week, a panel of arbitrators, in a 2-1 vote, lifted the residency requirements for police officers represented by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1, allowing them to move anywhere within 25 “air miles” of the city.
“With so much excitement about our city from residents, the nation and the world, I can’t imagine why police would want to leave it,” Mayor Bill Peduto said. All city workers are required to live within city limits, but in 2012, a change in state law that applied only to Pittsburgh opened the door for the police union to challenge the requirement. In response, Councilman Ricky Burgess put on the November ballot a referendum to make the residency requirement a part of the home rule charter. It passed overwhelmingly. It’s unclear whether the referendum will supersede the arbitration ruling.