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Feb. 21, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU graduate becomes Pittsburgh’s acting police chief

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. –Regina McDonald, a 1973 Slippery Rock University education graduate, has been named acting chief of police for the city of Pittsburgh by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

McDonald is a 35-year veteran of the department.

Before joining the Pittsburgh Police Bureau she served as a physical education school teacher and as an administrator in Pittsburgh’s Parks and Recreation Department.

She was promoted to the chief’s rank in 2004 when she was named the assistant chief of investigations. In taking that role she became the second woman to hold the rank in the bureau where she was responsible for supervising more than 100 detectives and multiple police quads, including homicide, sex assault, robbery, burglary and narcotics.

In addition to her SRU degrees, McDonald earned masters’ degrees from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh. Her second master’s degree was in administration of justice and included her thesis topic, police stress.

Since joining the department in 1978, her service has included work as commander of the bureau’s narcotics and vice squad along with work in crime prevention and with the D.A.R.E. program that works with school-age children to promote drug prevention and education.

She was promoted from sergeant to commander in 1995 where she undertook work in community-oriented policing programs.

McDonald is credited with introducing the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

She is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh’s West End.

She replaces Nate Harper who resigned after serving in the post for six years.

A search for a permanent chief to lead the nearly 900-member department is expected to begin immediately.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.