Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Zone 2 Commander Has Sharp, Organized Mind

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Zone 2 Commander Has Sharp, Organized Mind

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh's newest police commander has a knack for planning and an eye for detail, which will bode well for him when he takes the helm of the disparate and challenging Zone 2 precinct, those close to him said Tuesday.

Cmdr. Eric Holmes, 42, a 15-year veteran of the city's force, will be elevated today from his post as a sergeant in Chief Nate Harper's office to head of the Hill District station, one of the most powerful supervisory positions in the bureau.

Chief Harper declined to comment about the pick on Tuesday. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has said that Cmdr. Holmes was chosen from among several qualified candidates and his selection strengthens the diversity of the police bureau's upper echelons.

While the newly minted commander has served many roles in his time on the job, his most recent work has largely been behind the scenes. Promoted to sergeant in 2007, he was soon tapped to help coordinate the massive law enforcement presence during the city's G- 20 summit and archive the library of legal and tactical documents it generated.

Paperwork still mounts, but the summit itself wrapped up nearly three years ago. Cmdr. Holmes said his job since then evolved into one that allowed him more opportunities to work with the public, as a liaison to the city's police chaplains, its colleges and universities and several youth programs.

He teaches ethics and morals at the city police training academy, was once a White House intern and has a criminal justice scholarship established in his name at Slippery Rock University, his alma mater.

Is he ready to oversee one of the city's busiest police zones?

"I'm able to establish partnerships, build relationships and bring people together around the table to solve a problem, no matter what it is," Cmdr. Holmes said. He said he has already established connections with some business owners and faith-based organizations and is looking forward to getting to know other community leaders in Zone 2, which covers 12 city neighborhoods, including Downtown, the Hill District, Lawrenceville and the Strip District. He replaces George Trosky, who was promoted to assistant chief of investigations after serving five years as the popular leader of the precinct. …

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