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Obituary for Deborah Walker
February 24, 2017
Deborah Walker, previously known to many as “Officer Walker” was a dedicated, hardworking professional with twenty (20) years’ experience in law enforcement and ten years as a Higher Education administrator.

In 1973, upon graduating from George Westinghouse High School, Deborah started a career in law enforcement in 1983 with the University of Pittsburgh Police Department where she obtained a position as a security guard. Within six months of working in the department, Deborah was promoted to the position of police officer and began training at the Allegheny County Police Academy where she graduated in May 1984.

In 1999, Deborah was promoted to the position of Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. As the department’s Community Relations Officer, she developed and managed programs such as Operation Campus Watch (OCW), a crime prevention program that provided an environment that enabled students, faculty, staff, and the Pitt police to collaborate in their efforts toward a safe campus. Because of this program, the campus crime rate decreased. In addition, Officer Walker served as the coordinator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “Adopt-a-School Program” and is acknowledged for establishing the “Crime Tip of the Month” for the Pitt News and a Resource Center for the Pitt Police Department. 

After serving as a law enforcement officer, Deborah accepted a new position at Pitt in 2003 as the Assistant Director of Community Standards for the Office of Resident Life. Her responsibilities included monitoring the conduct and behavior issues that existed among the 5,200 students that reside in eleven residence halls. In November 2007, Deborah was promoted to the position of Student Conduct Officer for the University of Pittsburgh and was appointed as the Director for Reaching Inside Your Soul for Excellence (R.I.S.E.) a retention program for underrepresented students. Under Deborah’s leadership, the retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students in the program increased. 

February 2014, the City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto appointed Deborah as Director of the Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI). As the Director, Deborah manages sixteen staff responsible for ensuring the analysis and investigation of citizen complaints of civil and/or criminal misconduct alleged against employees of the City of Pittsburgh. 

Deborah holds two degrees from the University of Pittsburgh: a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Management. In addition, Deborah is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. 

Deborah Walker is dedicated to serving the community and has volunteered with organizations such as, American’s Promise, the Urban League of Pittsburgh’s Campaign for African American Achievement, the FBI Adopt a School Program, the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations and the University Of Pittsburgh Alumni Board of Directors.

In 2010, Pittsburgh City Council appointed Deborah to the Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB) as a law enforcement specialist where she served as the board chair. In 2011, Deborah was elected to serve as the President of the University of Pittsburgh Staff Association Council (SAC) a council that represents nearly 7,000 University staff. In July 2012, Deborah was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to serve as a Commissioner on the Governors Commission on African-American Affairs. 

Her achievements include the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Advocacy Volunteer of the Year Award, the National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award, the Pittsburgh Pirates African American Heritage Day Award, the Urban League of Pittsburgh 2003 Ronald Harmon Brown Civic Leadership Award, the 2003 Trailblazers Award, “Top 50 Women of Influence” by the New Pittsburgh Courier, and the American Society for Industrial Security Law Enforcement Award. In addition, Deborah was inducted into the Westinghouse High School Hall of Fame. In 2001, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was the first University union employee to receive such an honor. In July 2010, Deborah was selected as a presenter to the Oxford Round Table in Oxford England for her research topic, “Responding to Crime at an Urban-Based Research University”. 

Deborah is an accomplished presenter and has traveled both nationally and internationally speaking on topics such as the intersection of higher education and law enforcement and the retention of underrepresented students. 

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Deborah Walker 

MAR 2. 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Mt. Ararat Baptist Church
271 Paulson Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA, US, 15206

March 3. 11:am-12:00 pm

Mt. Ararat Baptist Church
271 Paulson Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA US 15206

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