Pittsburgh police officers accused of stealing time expected to return to force

PITTSBURGH — Target 11 has learned that two city of Pittsburgh Police officers accused of stealing time, may soon be returned to the force. It’s unclear if they will face any disciplinary action. The officers were placed on paid administrative leave back in April after allegations that they falsified time cards. Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle broke the initial story in April.

According to multiple law enforcement sources, the officers allegedly put in for overtime that they didn’t work. The officers were part of the department’s bicycle patrol unit and they were paid overtime to patrol the trails along the rivers and downtown Pittsburgh. Sources tell Target 11 that a supervisor became suspicious and set up a surveillance outside of the officers’ homes.  The officers allegedly indicated on time cards that they were working overtime, but the supervisor said they were still at home, and never worked the overtime.

The executive director of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board, Beth Pittinger, told Earle in April that the allegations raised some serious questions about supervision in the department.

“How is that justified? Who defined that detail? Who decided it was necessary to dispatch these bike officers and why?” asked Pittinger.

“And then they weren’t even doing it apparently,” said Earle.

“Apparently they weren’t doing it so what’s the assessment afterwards? How are you evaluating what you sent them out to do or is it just to have an officer presence? Do we need one? Are these high-crime, potential dangerous areas?” said Pittinger.

The officers were placed on paid administrative leave back in April, and sources now tell Target 11 that both of them may soon be allowed to return to work. At the weekly Pittsburgh Police news conference, Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle asked Acting Police Chief Tom Stangrecki to provide an update on the investigation. Stangrecki declined to elaborate.

“Right now this is a personnel matter and I can’t go into the details of that investigation nor any discipline associated with it as of this time,” Stangrecki told Earle.

Earle also reached out to the President of the Police Officers’ Union and he too declined comment.

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