Alumnus sworn in as Pittsburgh’s new police chief

City of Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert

Written By Josh Croup, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park alumnus Scott Schubert was sworn in as Pittsburgh’s permanent police chief Thursday after serving as the acting chief since November when his predecessor, Cameron McLay, resigned.

The 24-year veteran of the Pittsburgh police force received his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Point Park in 2008, and earned his masters in criminal justice administration from the university in 2010. Schubert has also taught homeland security as an adjunct professor at Point Park since 2013.

“The routine of going to classes, interacting with other students, doing the assignments, and learning from the instructors, it was a great experience,” Schubert said after taking the oath of office. “[Point Park] has helped me with being a police supervisor and with teaching.”

Outside of the classroom, Schubert has provided assistance to Point Park Police Chief Jeffrey Besong and the rest of the Point Park Police Department.

“Anything we ever needed training-wise or polishing a procedure, Scott has always been there to help, as well as the entire Pittsburgh Police Department,” Besong said in a phone interview.

“I’m sure he’s going to do extremely well, and I’m excited to work with him and to benefit from Point Park University.”

Besong said Schubert has allowed his officers in the past to help Point Park officers with training and has been “instrumental” to the success of Point Park’s department.

Point Park police will also conduct active shooter training with Pittsburgh police officers in May.

“We’re really fortunate to have the chief be a close friend of ours,” Besong said. “Pittsburgh is fortunate to have Scott here.”

Mayor Bill Peduto said in the fall that he hoped to appoint Schubert to the permanent position after a 90-day trial. City Council unanimously approved his appointment as the permanent police chief on Feb. 7.

Last Thursday, Peduto was able to officially swear in his new police chief at the City-County Building downtown during a ceremony that included the promotions of eight police, fire and emergency medical services personnel.

“Scott Schubert has a big heart,” Peduto told a packed crowd inside City Council Chambers. “He’s an officer that other officers can look up to. He’s an officer that loves the Police Bureau of Pittsburgh with all of his heart.”

Schubert’s inauguration begins a new era for the Pittsburgh Police Department. He follows McLay, who left the department following a vote of no confidence from the Pittsburgh police union in September, though he said that did not influence his decision to step down. He also received criticism from the union for speaking in uniform at the Democratic National Convention.

McLay was the first outsider hired in more than 150 years for the job in 2014, coming from Wisconsin to reform the department. Schubert said he hopes to carry out McLay’s visions.

Associate Professor Richard Linzer, who taught Schubert through the Criminal Justice Administration Program, said having an insider like Schubert will benefit the city.

“Scott is somebody who is well respected by his officers,” Linzer said. “They’ll respect him for his position, for his authority and for his understanding of some of the things here in the city.”

Schubert has worked in the community with the Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boy Scouts of America. He assured the crowd and the mayor that he would not let them down as chief.

“I like to lead by example,” Schubert told the Globe. “I don’t expect anybody to ever do something that I wouldn’t do myself. I care about the officers and I care about the community…that’s who I am.”

The day after his swearing-in ceremony, the city announced that the department is on track to have more officers in the streets since 2002 when it swore in seven new officers.

The total number of officers will reach 921 upon the graduation of the next 30 recruits.

“Getting more police into our neighborhoods has been a top priority of my administration, and I’m happy to say we’re delivering on my promises,” Peduto said in a statement. “With the leadership of Chief Schubert and his commitment to community policing measures, this is a very proud moment for the Pittsburgh Police Bureau.”