Residency Proposal Now a Law

In a recent Brief we wrote about legislation that passed both houses of the General Assembly that, if signed by the Governor, would take language requiring Pittsburgh Police officers to be residents of the City out of state law. The Governor signed that legislation last week, and is now known as Act 195 of 2012.

The law does not mean present officers are free to move outside of the City or that those yet to be hired won’t have to move into the City as a condition of employment. It means that the residency issue will be decided by collective bargaining and not because it is embedded in state codes.

What that looks like could take on any variety of forms. As we pointed out in the Brief, Philadelphia requires new officers to reside in the City but those with five years experience or more can reside elsewhere. A quick look at the websites for two of the state’s larger cities, Erie and Lancaster, shows that officers have to live within a 15 mile radius or 20 mile radius, respectively without reference to years of service to the department.