Cincinnati Police Department Budget officials have put together a proposal to cover part of the 16 million dollars allotted for cuts from the police department budget which includes laying off 144 officers and demoting another 160. The Enquirer news story does not detail how many, if any, senior level police officers would be let go in this plan.
On hand to give a petty and irrelevant quote was Kathy Harrell, president of local FOP (the Police Union), who again appears to be unwilling to face the fact that Cincinnati and the rest of the country are facing difficult financial times. Instead she'll lobby for more police jobs, and not care were the money comes from. Further more, the FOP leadership will create a false fear in the public, a manufactured fear that crime will rise if there are fewer police officers. In 2009 the FOP were aided by Council Members Monzel and Ghiz, who got to pretend to fight crime, but were actually more concerned about protecting votes when both ran for County Commission. Monzel got more votes and will thankfully be off council soon. I'm sure he will have a brilliant plan to prevent layoffs and save the day. He has so many plans, I can't keep them all straight. It's amazing. It's tough keeping a straight face as I type this.
In the end however, the FOP leadership will force or even deal away a higher number of jobs of lower paid street cops in favor of the nearly retired cops, who are still able to get nice fat bonuses at retirement in a couple of years. I guess it's more important for 1 "seasoned" cop to get bonuses and sit at a desk for the next couple of years as opposed to two or three cops to actually be in a car on patrol protecting the city. I guess money for high level cops trumps a balanced budget for the City. I guess we are heading into another budget battle. I am so very glad that Roxanne Qualls is running the Finance committee instead of former council member Laketa Cole, who along with Leslie Ghiz, made the committee meetings into a circus. We need an efficient and well run police force, we don't need a circus with an FOP run sideshow.