The Shield, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from banspy’s photostream

FBI Special Agent Stephen Bucar brings three decades of experience & integrity to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA – Mayor William Peduto announced today that he is hiring FBI Special Agent Stephen A. Bucar as Pittsburgh’s new Public Safety Director.

Bucar has lately overseen the analysis of information associated with domestic and international terrorism investigations for field offices across the United States as a Supervisory Special Agent Section Chief in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division in Washington, D.C. He was also formerly an assistant special agent in charge of a branch within the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, the largest office of its kind in the nation.

Raised in Washington County, he has more than 30 years of federal, state and local law enforcement experience. He worked as an officer for West Brownsville and the Pennsylvania State Police before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1991.

“I am excited to return home to southwestern Pennsylvania and help the Mayor — and the city’s public safety employees — build a new Public Safety Department for Pittsburgh,” Bucar said. “I have long enjoyed working in law enforcement and government, and this position will be both a challenge and the natural next step in my public service career.”

Bucar is the latest top city administrator selected with the help of Talent City, the initiative created by the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Institute of Politics to bring transparency and rigorous talent searching to City hiring practices.

In making the hire Mayor Peduto also thanked outgoing Public Safety Director Michael Huss for his service to the city. Huss was one of four finalists the Mayor interviewed the past two weeks.

“This was a difficult decision. Mike dedicated many years of service and professionalism to Pittsburgh, and neither the city nor I will forget that,” Mayor Peduto said.

“I’ve long said that I wanted to find an ‘Eliot Ness’ to lead this department, and Steve’s integrity, judgment, and on-the-ground know-how make him perfect for the role. Pittsburgh, its residents, and its uniformed personnel are lucky to have him,” the Mayor said.

“One of my top needs for this position was finding someone with the background and experience to handle any emergency the city might face, whether it be man-made or a natural disaster. Steve has that, as well as the proven ability to manage personnel across multiple disciplines — whether they be police officers, firefighters, medics or building inspectors.

Just as importantly Steve is a model for the changes we need to make to the Public Safety Department and the city as a whole. I need someone to repair the deep fractures within Public Safety, which have held back the good people in the department, and impacted our relations with neighbors citywide. He is a beacon for every city department showing the ways of the past are no longer acceptable.”

For the last three years Bucar, 54, has overseen FBI units in Washington D.C. responsible for the analysis of terrorism information, a counterterrorism 24-hour command post, and investigations of initial threat activity for terrorism field offices across the United States.

Among many previous roles at the FBI, Bucar was made agent in charge of one of three branches of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2010, with oversight of investigating criminal activity at the John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia International Airports, special event security, and 24/7 emergency response to terrorist incidents in the city. From 2007-2009 he was assistant section chief for the Counterterrorism Division in Washington D.C. overseeing international terrorism investigations within a region of the United States, and from 2002-2006 was a special agent in the Newark, N.J., field office supervising investigations of organized crime and other criminal activity.

From 1999-2002 he was a Headquarters Supervisory Special Agent at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, W.Va., which oversees information technology services for law enforcement agencies nationwide; and from 1991-1999 was a special agent in the Newark office investigating street gang activity and other criminal activity, and served as a firearms instructor and on the SWAT team.

Bucar served with the Pennsylvania State Police at the Uniontown and Belle Vernon barracks from 1985 through 1991 and the West Brownsville Police in Washington County from 1984 to 1985. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from California University of Pennsylvania in 1984.

Bucar works in Washington, D.C., but resides with his wife in Nazareth, Pa. His daughter is a Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent and his son a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

His appointment is subject to City Council confirmation and his salary is $125,000. He is expected to begin work in early June.

Bucar and other applicants for Public Safety Director went through Talent City screenings, interviews and evaluations. He is the latest Director-level appointee the Mayor has hired with help from Talent City, and the public-private partnership is continuing in searches for other top City positions.

A photo of Bucar was not immediately available.