Target 11 Exclusive: Nearly a dozen Pittsburgh police officers pulled off streets

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Target 11 has learned that 11 Pittsburgh police officers have been banned from field duty for failing to pass firearms recertification.

According to an internal police department memo obtained by Target 11, the department began the recertification process on August 1.

It’s scheduled to run through Aug. 31.

Target 11 has confirmed that the state changed the firearm testing and grading system this year.

Sources inside the Pittsburgh Police Department tell Target 11 that the test is more difficult to pass now. They also said officers rarely failed recertification in the past, and if they did, they were allowed to retake the test on the same day.

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The Department of Public Safety sent this statement to Target 11:

“The bureau is going through its annual firearms recertification, and there were 11 members who did not certify. Per protocol, they were immediately scheduled for remedial training. In the meantime, they are not assisting in field work but are assigned to other duties,” said DPS spokesperson Cara Cruz.

In addition to being barred from field duties until passing the recertification, Cruz said those officers won’t be allowed to work any secondary employment details at events such as concerts and sporting events.

A busy week of parades, festivals and concerts kicked off Thursday with Billy Joel at PNC Park and ends Sunday with Metallica, and that could further stretch police resources that have already been depleted with resignations and retirements and no new hires in three years.

At a news conference earlier in the day, before news broke of the officers failing recertification, police said they are prepared for the crowds.

“We have taken the extra precaution to make sure we have enough resources out there to make these events as wonderful as they were a couple of weeks ago with Pickle’s Fest and the Arts Festival. We need you also to come down and enjoy it and see it as an opportunity to engage,” said Assistant Chief Linda Barone.

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