Three members of City Council with One non-committal member on the fence, put forth a budget plan that includes a transformation of the Cincinnati Police Department. In some form, details are not really known, it either merges the CPD with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, or subcontracts the patrols of CPD to the Sheriff's Department. Either way it would shift police officers to the Sheriff's Department at presumably lower pay rates, thus saving money.
Both possibilities are rather radical. They are the type of ideas that get studied and reviewed and publicly discussed for a reasonable amount of time. I think these plans sound like a trial balloon. These council members want to see how the public reacts and then work on making these plans happen in the coming years, where the cuts that are made in the police force now can be made up by contracting with the Sheriff. We have a year end requirement to pass a balanced budget. We don't have the time to just put this idea into action and hope it works out. That would be foolish.
Yes, it seems clear to me there are going to be cuts in the police and fire departments, but with the latest news the cuts will be less than originally planned because of higher tax revenue projections. We need to face those cuts. Some on council can say they did what they could or still have future ideas, but were forced to make the cuts. Ghiz and Winburn will complain and vote against it, but still refuse to put forth an plan that balances the budget. One that is feasible and doesn't rely on kindness of delinquent tax payers.
Keven Osborne has more on this new plan and the possible conflict with the City Charter in how the council members discussed it with the Sheriff.