Pittsburgh Police Residency Since Court Ruling

Pittsburgh Police Residency Since Court Ruling

Almost one year after the Supreme Court ruled that Pittsburgh police could reside within a 25 mile radius of Downtown Pittsburgh rather than within the City’s boundaries an analysis has found that 22% of current Pittsburgh police officers live outside the City.

The Court’s ruling settled the dispute between a home rule charter requirement on residency and whether that trumped the collective bargaining requirements of Act 111 of 1968.  Not only can officers who worked for the City prior to the decision move out and reside within the 25 mile radius and continue to be a Pittsburgh police officer but prospective officers who did not reside in the City can maintain their place of domicile and work for the Police Bureau.

There are employees of the Police Bureau that were not affected by the ruling–our Brief last year noted 888 of the Bureau’s 1,055 employees could relocate.  The updated analysis was based on the records for 869 employees (most likely there were 19 retirements/separations in the past twelve months), and found that 195 reside outside the City’s borders.

Our 2014 report on residency requirements found that several large municipalities do not require their police employees to live within the municipal borders but within specifically defined geographic areas (measured by mileage or time needed to arrive at the municipal offices).  Pittsburgh police would now fall into this category.