PITTSBURGH - Mayor William Peduto and Public Safety Director Stephen A. Bucar announced the hiring of Cameron McLay as the next chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police on Tuesday.
“I believe he's up to the task. It's a new era,” said Peduto.
McLay, 56, is the former police captain from Madison, Wisconsin and a leadership development consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
McLay, who the mayor said has ties to Pittsburgh, is expected to officially become Pittsburgh’s police chief in two weeks and take over for Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald.
According to our newspaper exchange partner TribLive, McLay’s mother and grandparents were from Squirrel Hill and Wilkinsburg, and as a youth McLay lived in Mt. Lebanon for three years while his father worked for Alcoa.
“He was the unanimous choice for chief of police,” said Peduto.
McLay was chosen over four internal candidates for his leadership and integrity.
McLay wasn’t in Pittsburgh for Tuesday's announcement, but according to rank and file leadership, he will have his work cut out for him when he takes over for former chief Nate Harper, who is serving 18 months in federal prison for tax evasion and conspiring in a slush fund.
“Just getting to know the areas and being able to get around the area and then having to learn the communities and police officers, that’s going to be a challenge for anyone,” said FOP President Howard McQuillan.
“He will have his work to do. He most certainly will have to restore the trust with the community. He must rebuild the morale with the rank and file, and he must make the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police a national model,” said Peduto.
McLay will be paid $109,160 a year to restore the faith of the rank and file and rebuild relationships between the department and community.
As an out-of-state officer, he will require Pennsylvania Police Act 120 accreditation from the Municipal Police Officers’ Education & Training Commission, TribLive reported.
“He’s somebody who gets out into the neighborhoods, goes to meetings and is seen as a part of it. He puts together a bottom up approach to policing, where people then feel they are part of the solution,” said Peduto.
McLay received a bachelor of arts in forensic studies with a minor in psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1985, and masters of science in organizational leadership from Colorado State University Global Campus in 2012, according to TribLive. His police career began as a part-time cadet officer and full-time police officer for the Indiana University Police Department in 1979.
McClay is married and has three adult children.