Talent City engages public in search for Pittsburgh’s new Chief of Police

The Talent City initiative developed an expanded process to assist the City of Pittsburgh and engage wide public participation in the search for Pittsburgh’s new Chief of Police.

Talent City partnered with The Art of Democracy and Carnegie Mellon University’s Program for Deliberative Democracy to convene a series of public forums to provide residents with the opportunity to be involved in the process of selecting a new Chief of Police.

The City of Pittsburgh conducted the public forums in conjunction with Public Safety Councils in all six of Pittsburgh’s policing zones in June and July. By participating in the forum, residents were encouraged to share their ideas about how to improve policing in Pittsburgh, identify their priorities, and suggest the qualities they believe are essential in the new Chief of Police.

The deliberative forums seek to discover citizens’ opinions on key issues affecting their neighborhoods after they have engaged in multiple informed, structured conversations. Each of the forums lasted two-and-a-half hours and were designed to provide the resources citizens need in order to develop an opinion guided by relevant data, expert information, and an understanding of how issues and policies affect others in their community.

“From the outset, we have looked to build a new administration with the best talent available to lead our city,” said Mayor William Peduto.  “We are pleased with the progress we have made with Talent City and look forward to an unbiased process that will include significant and productive public input as we begin a new chapter with our police force.”

Under the Talent City program, launched by the Foundation in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics, all applicants for the position will be screened by a diverse selection committee and interviews will be conducted by human resources consultants.  A slate of 3-5 candidates will then be provided to the Mayor, who may choose a candidate from the provided pool or ask Talent City to find additional candidates.

The Chief of Police job posting on the Talent City website closed on July 31.  Talent City’s screening committee reviewed all applications and presented a final slate of candidates to the Mayor at the end of August.  The Mayor conducted interviews and named Cameron McClay Pittsburgh Chief of Police in early September.

The $275,000 Talent City initiative was designed to provide comprehensive support for the new Mayoral administration in assembling an experienced and qualified team who will help lead Pittsburgh into a new era of development. The Chief of Police search is the final phase for Talent City with over 20 positions in the new administration filled with the assistance of the initiative.

“We are especially excited to help the City of Pittsburgh in this final phase of the Talent City process to join with citizens in selecting Pittsburgh’s new police chief,” said Molly Beerman, Interim CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation.  “Talent City is a bold initiative that symbolizes a spirit of civic partnership and cooperation that we believe can develop and prosper under our regional local government leadership.”