City implements changes by Police Bureau after 2018 incident at Kopy's
July 16, 2019
Changes continue to be implemented in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police’s Narcotics and Vice Division following an October 2018 incident inside Kopy’s bar in the South Side, Mayor William Peduto and Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich announced last week.
Commander Jason Lando, who has deep experience and background in narcotics and vice investigations, was placed in charge of the division in late June and began his new role last week. Furthermore, new guidelines have been implemented for undercover work and additional supervisory personnel are being deployed at the division.
After three independent investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s office, the District Attorney’s office and the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations – as well as interviews by Director Hissrich – no criminal charges have been filed against the four undercover detectives involved in the 2018 incident.
The mayor and director announced that the four detectives will remain on the force, but reassigned to other positions in the Police Bureau.
Later in the week, the City of Pittsburgh and the Public Safety Department issued the following statement as a follow-up to last week’s announcement about the police incident at Kopy’s Bar:
“City officials understand some questions may persist about this case but they are constrained from providing additional information due to the pending lawsuits against the City and the officers. In order to preserve the integrity of the litigation process, information about internal investigations and decisions is necessarily limited.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office separately investigated this matter and declined to charge any of the four officers. OMI and the Department of Public Safety conducted detailed investigations culminating in corrective action. However, the confidentiality requirements of the collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, state law confidentiality mandates, as well as the ongoing litigation prevent the City from disclosing additional details at this time.”
“Even beyond the multiple independent investigations of the officers, the Department of Public Safety continues to take steps to ensure Pittsburgh has the best police protection possible,” Mayor Peduto said.