FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2022
Mayor Ed Gainey Nominates Lee Schmidt as Director of Public Safety
Will Play Key Role in Building a City for All
PITTSBURGH – Mayor Ed Gainey announced today that Lee Schmidt has been nominated as Director of Public Safety for the City of Pittsburgh. As Director, Schmidt will oversee all Public Safety bureaus, including Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Animal Care & Control, and Administration, along with the Offices of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Community Affairs, Special Events and Nighttime Economy. Lee was named acting director after Wendell Hissrich’s departure and previously served as Assistant Director of Operations and Administration for the Department.
“Lee Schmidt brings a tremendous range of experience across decades of public service, as well as deep commitment to creating greater safety, accountability and equity to our Department of Public Safety,” said Mayor Gainey. “From our earliest conversations to the most recent collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge, I’ve been impressed with Lee’s competence, compassion, and the respect he commands from the people he works with. I’m also proud to be nominating a director whose own background in emergency services is that of a paramedic.”
Schmidt began his career with the City of Pittsburgh in January of 2017 as a civilian business administrator with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police before being promoted to Assistant Director of Operations and Administration for the Department of Public Safety in March 2020. In that role he worked alongside the Public Safety Director and bureau chiefs to plan, organize, and manage each of the Bureaus, to provide coordination and oversight for core business processes and policies, and to oversee their operating, capital and grant budgets.
Prior to his time with the City, Schmidt began his Public Safety career with West Deer EMS in Cheswick, PA in 1996 as a volunteer EMT, before becoming a full-time paid paramedic and crew chief, eventually rising to Director/Chief of the agency. Schmidt holds multiple public safety and emergency management certifications and has completed various county and state level health and safety training programs. He graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Public Administration with a concentration in public safety/emergency services. He also holds an Associate Degree in CIT/IT Support and Network Administration.
Lee is the father of three children and lives on the North Side with his wife and two dogs.
A correction was made to this press release at 2:48 PM to note Lee's start with the city was in January 2017.