From the office of State Rep. Chelsa Wagner: Bill to put more officers on the streets


In the past several months, our public safety professionals in the City of Pittsburgh have been forced to respond to challenges ranging from historic flooding to the arrival of Batman.

Meanwhile, violent crime in some neighborhoods and the general welfare of all of our communities needs greater attention.In an effort to help address this issue, I have reintroduced legislation that would allow retired police officers to voluntarily return to service to complement our active police force.

Named the Return to Service Act, this bill would allow retired officers to perform part-time police work while still collecting the pensions they earned during their years of active duty. Currently, state law prohibits this.

While the rigors of police work are taxing physically and mentally, officers who retire in their 50s can still make great contributions with their knowledge and abilities. Retired officers could perform traffic control, community relations and confidential clerical work that cannot be done by civilians among many other potential duties, freeing up active officers to prevent and investigate crime in our neighborhoods. Similar programs in cities around the country have resulted in the return of hundreds of officers.

With police departments stretched thin and municipal budgets stretched thinner, our communities need the help retired officers can provide. The well-being of our communities requires that we not forego adequate police protection due to the costs, and I believe my bill offers one solution to help address this concern.

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