Peduto believes police residency should be negotiated

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PITTSBURGH - An Allegheny County judge has agreed to postpone the effect of a ruling that would permit Pittsburgh police officers to live in the suburbs.

Judge Robert Colville granted a stay in his decision to affirm an arbitration panel ruling that said officers may live within outside the city's boundaries as long as they stay within 25 air miles of downtown, according to Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto.

The city is appealing the ruling to Commonwealth Court. The decision will stay in effect until after the city exhausts its options to appeal.

Peduto is pleased the ruling has been delayed because he believes it’s an issue that should be negotiated during contract talks.

“Basically, it allows us and our legal team time in order to be able to appeal it without any action being taken,” Peduto said Tuesday.

Arbitrators in March sided with Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge 1, which has argued for years that officers should be permitted to live outside city limits.

Attorneys for the city appealed to Colville, contending that the panel exceeded its authority and had no jurisdiction in the case. The city's Home Rule Charter requires all employees to live in Pittsburgh.

Colville upheld the arbitrators' decision. The FOP previously said it is confident the decision will hold up during an appeal.

“Issues that come up regarding residency requirements, or pensions or salaries, are issues that are to be negotiated at the table during collective bargaining, and one of the arguments we've made is that that is the appropriated place and time to do so,” Peduto said.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

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