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Undercover officers may be getting drunk on the job, Target 11 discovers

PITTSBURGH — Target 11 has uncovered new proof that some Pittsburgh police officers could be getting drunk on the job.

Investigative reporter Rick Earle was looking deeper into a recent fight between undercover officers and a motorcycle gang at Kopy's bar on the South Side when he learned about other instances of undercover officers racking up huge bills at bars.

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The city was prepared to fire the officers involved in the Kopy's fight until this new information came to light.

"I can say that I am concerned over the overall operation at narcotics and vice, and this one event is not a solitary event, which is why we are taking the time to investigate thoroughly," Mayor Bill Peduto said.

One of the other events Peduto is referring to was a drug investigation at a strip club where officers ran up a bill of nearly $3,000 during two nights.

Several of the officers who returned to the station after that operation were told by a supervisor not to drive because they'd had too much to drink.

Peduto said he understands the need to blend in when at a bar but said the department needs to have a policy about drinking too much.

He also said the city is looking at the undercover officers and their supervisors.

"We have had continual meetings about this, and not only that, but continual conversations with everyone involved, not just the officers that were there that night, but those that command them. We want to be able to look at this as a learning opportunity so we don't make the same mistake twice," he said.