PITTSBURGH — Larry Scirotto is the City of Pittsburgh’s new police chief.
In a unanimous vote, city council approved Mayor Ed Gainey’s nominee Tuesday morning.
Scirotto told Channel 11′s Rick Earle that the bureau’s primary mission is to get more manpower back in patrol and out on the streets.
“We’re working toward preventing the next shooting and being visible, being available, being accessible so we have that community calming effect,” said Scirotto.
Scirotto is a former assistant chief in the Pittsburgh Police Bureau. He was selected over former Pittsburgh Police Commander Jason Lando, who’s the police chief in Frederick, Maryland, and Ryan Lee, the former chief in Boise, Idaho, who sources said was the mayor’s top choice.
“Not only was the candidate well prepared, well spoken, and well researched,” said City Councilmember Deb Gross.
Even before the vote, Pittsburgh city council members took time to praise Larry Scirotto.
They said so far, he’s saying and doing all the right things.
“To me, that proves the dedication and love he has for the city,” said City Councilmember Anthony Coghill.
“Having received the required number of votes the bill has passed. Congratulations Chief,” said Council President Theresa Kail-Smith.
And with that council unanimously approved the mayor’s nominee as the next Pittsburgh police chief.
Earle: How do you feel?
Scirotto: Great. It’s time to go to work. Acting is gone, now it’s the ownership of our successes.
Scirotto, who’s originally from Monessen, spent 23 years with the Pittsburgh Police, rising to assistant chief before leaving five years ago.
In 2021, he was hired as the Fort Lauderdale Police Chief but was forced to resign over allegations of discriminatory hiring less than a year later.
Scirotto denied the allegations and filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city of Fort Lauderdale.
He said now is the time to get started and his top priority will be reducing gun violence.
“There’s a lot to do, and I stay committed to the strategies of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and that’s being a community partner that’s engaging early and often, improving the quality of life, but most importantly reducing our violent gun crimes,” said Scirotto.
He’s also taking over a force facing severe manpower shortages. The department is down about 100 officers.
There hasn’t been a new academy class in more than two years, but that’s supposed to change later this year with two new classes scheduled.
“He’s got big challenges ahead of him, but he seems to realize that and he’s up for the challenge,” said Coghill.
We also caught up with Mayor Ed Gainey this afternoon. He told us that in addition to gun violence, and community policing, Scirotto will also focus on boosting morale in the department and diversifying the department.
“If you have everybody that looks alike, and thinks alike, then we can’t come to common sense solutions that benefit everyone,” said Gainey.
Scirotto is still wearing civilian clothes.
He said he won’t get his uniform and gun until he passes all of his certifications.
And even though he’s now the police chief, he will still need to be sworn in by the mayor. It’s unclear when that will happen.
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