A Jewish law enforcement officer with 25 years of experience will be Mt. Lebanon’s next police chief.
Mt. Lebanon Municipal Manager Keith McGill will appoint Jason S. Haberman police chief, with a ratification vote scheduled for Jan. 3. Haberman succeeds Police Chief Aaron Lauth, who retired in May.
“The area is home to me — I grew up with a lot of friends and family in Mt. Lebanon. It’s a big part of my life,” Haberman told the Chronicle. “The greatest privilege is to serve those who serve.”
Haberman has worked in law enforcement since starting patrol work with the Edgewood Police Department in 1997. After time with police departments in Wilkinsburg and with the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Haberman joined the Mt. Lebanon squad in 2018 as deputy chief.
“Jason has been an important part of our police department,” McGill said in a prepared statement. “He led the department in its goal of achieving accreditation in the state of Pennsylvania and he is developing a multi-disciplinary team for response to mental health and behavioral health calls.
“He is part of the culture of excellence and continual improvement that exists at the Mt. Lebanon Police Department and he has outstanding relationships with all of our partner organizations, including the Mt. Lebanon School District,” McGill added.
Haberman has a master’s degree in legal studies with an emphasis on homeland security and a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, both from La Roche University. He is a 2015 graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a post-graduate law enforcement leadership certificate from the University of Virginia.
Haberman grew up attending and became a bar mitzvah at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
“It’s worth mentioning – it’s a big part of who I am,” Haberman said. “It’s part of my upbringing and my belief system.”
When the Oct. 27, 2018, synagogue shooting occurred — which happened during his tenure in Mt. Lebanon — Haberman felt a shift toward becoming a protector for the municipality’s Jewish population, he said.
In 2019, Haberman traveled to Israel to learn about security tactics and measures there.
“It was a tremendous experience, to be able to go there … and glean best practices,” he said. “Not to mention the incredible experience of being in Israel.”
Rabbi Aaron Meyer of Temple Emanuel of South Hills said Haberman has a strong relationship with area Jews — but his service does not end there.
“Jason Haberman has worked tirelessly to keep the Jewish community — among many others — safe since his arrival at the Mt. Lebanon Police Department,” Meyer told the Chronicle.
“From an active and meaningful response to the events of Oct. 27, 2018, to advising and training Temple Emanuel’s staff and congregants in best practices regarding security and situational awareness, Chief Haberman is an advocate, ally and leader in the South Hills community.” PJC
Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.