City's police union voting today for new president

March 8, 2012 12:21 am

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Two candidates are vying today to lead the city's police union for the next two years during a period when the department expects departures and retirements to create manpower shortages.

The union's more than 850 active members and 1,000 retired members will participate in daylong voting at St. Pamphilus Church in Beechview for the president of Pittsburgh FOP Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 and several other positions.

Chuck Hanlon, a night felony detective and the union's current vice president, is running against Sgt. Michael LaPorte, the union's trustee chairman who works out of the city's Zone 6 station in the West End. Both cite their past union work and experience on the force as reasons they should be elected.

The current union president, Officer Dan O'Hara, who endorsed Detective Hanlon, is not running again for "personal reasons."

Both Detective Hanlon, an 18-year veteran, and Sgt. LaPorte, on the job for 19 years, said they will work with city leaders to find ways to recruit new officers to the job and incentives to keep them there.

Union leaders have said as many as 500 of the city's approximately 850 officers could be eligible to retire by 2015 and say recent departures of younger officers to other departments is troubling.

First Published 2012-03-08 00:20:49

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