Low funding, strained patrols and officer turnover common among some Mon Valley police departments. Will East Pittsburgh’s crisis spur change elsewhere?

East Pittsburgh is grappling with the fate of its police force, leaning on solutions like consolidation that have long-been discussed in the fragmented region, largely without success.

Will crisis force change? In East Pittsburgh, officials hope so. But interviews with numerous chiefs and leaders in the region reveal a persistent status quo, where funding drastically differs across a patchwork of boroughs and some communities struggle to recruit officers to work breakneck hours for dismal pay.

(Illustration by Anita Dufalla/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh officer who alleged ‘waste and wrongdoing’ in police technology has resigned

A Pittsburgh police officer who filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit in February against the city and one of the Public Safety department’s top officials resigned Monday morning. Officer Souroth Chatterji, who joined the department in 2012, claims in his ongoing lawsuit that he faced retaliation for uncovering what he viewed as “waste and wrongdoing” in the city’s handling of police technology. Chatterji’s lawsuit singles out Deputy Director of Public Safety Linda Rosato-Barone. As a commander, she had supervised technology projects Chatterji was instructed to audit in 2015 by then-Chief Cameron McLay. Chatterji argues that Rosato-Barone blocked his promotion to sergeant earlier this year because he reported evidence to McLay that helped launch internal and federal investigations.

(Illustration by Anita Dufalla/PublicSource)

New developments in B-Three whistleblower suit detail complaint filed by accused official

Rosato-Barone indicates that an internal investigation she initiated through the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI) into Souroth Chatterji was wider in scope. Besides Chatterji, it targeted former Chief Cameron McLay and key police personnel, including former Assistant Chief Larry Scirotto. These individuals were all involved in the McLay administration’s scrutiny of software projects involving Rosato-Barone and Plum-based B-Three Solutions.