When Madison, Wi., Mayor Paul Soglin learned that retired police Capt. Cameron McLay had been nominated as the new Pittsburgh police chief, he had one thought: “Let me just tell you, I want him back,” reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the 30 years that McLay, 56, worked in Madison, he earned a reputation as a candid leader with a knack for building strong relationships with residents. “He understands the very simple concept that you can't have a strong community without a police department that supports the community,” Soglin said. “He knows that the police department does not run the city.”
From 2005 until his retirement this year, McLay oversaw Madison's Northern District police station, which covered a few of the city's lower-income neighborhoods. Madison is smaller than Pittsburgh, with a population of about 240,000, compared with Pittsburgh's 305,000 at the time of the last census. Its crime rate is also different. Madison typically has four to seven homicides a year. Pittsburgh recorded more than 40 by the mid-summer.