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Columbus Budget session on PD & Fire 2009


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  • Columbus Budget session on PD & Fire 2009

    FYI if anyone will be able to get there in time:

    Council To Talk Fire, Police Budgets

    Tuesday, Dec 02, 2008 - 10:44 AM
    By Donna Willis
    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus city council will be talking about the budget Tuesday night, NBC 4 reported.
    Council specifically will be talking about the 2009 budget for Columbus police and fire.
    Council member Andrew Ginther, chair of the public safety committee, will discuss budget plans tonight at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.
    There will be a limit of 20 speakers during the hearing, and you will need a speaker slip.

  • #2
    Here is what NBC4 said - sounds like some people realize how bad this could get if more classes don't happen:

    Cuts Will Reduce Community Crime Patrols

    Tuesday, Dec 02, 2008 - 11:15 PM Updated: 09:30 AM
    By Ana Jackson
    COLUMBUS, Ohio - -
    Public safety took center stage at the City of Columbus’ latest budget hearing.

    The Department of Public Safety says the 57 police officers and 25 firefighters who leave the city next year will not be replaced under mayor Michael Coleman’s budget. Cruisers will not be replaced either. But many residents are concerned about how cuts will affect the community crime patrol. The mayor’s budget originally left out funding for CCP. The mayor reconsidered and restored half of CCP’s current budget. But the organization will still have to reduce the number of days and hours it patrols the streets, and this has community leaders pushing for full funding.

    Deputy Director George Speaks of the Department of Public Safety says, "There are other higher priorities such as officers and firefighters replacing them."

    The Department of Public Safety says it recognizes the importance of CCP, but it just cannot provide any more funding. The department is focused on recruiting more uniformed personnel. The deputy director says the department of public safety can make it through 2009 without replacing uniformed personnel, but if the city doesn't bring in new recruits in 2010, Columbus will be in trouble.



    • #3
      Bit more info on Dispatch:

      Fire, police might not rehire for 82 jobs
      Retirements, proposed budget cuts likely will strain both forces, city officials say
      Wednesday, December 3, 2008 3:00 AM
      By Jim Woods
      The city of Columbus likely won't replace 57 police officers and 25 firefighters who are expected to retire next year.

      The loss of personnel will be felt in 2009, but the greater cumulative effect would occur in 2010 and 2011 if the city is prevented from replacing those positions, said George Speaks, deputy director of public safety.

      Mayor Michael B. Coleman considers the city's public-safety budget to be the highest priority, Speaks said during a budget hearing yesterday with Councilman Andrew Ginther. The City Council will make the final decision on the budget in the next few weeks.

      Spending for police and fire services makes up 72 percent of the city's general-fund budget.

      "We have a low crime rate and are considered one of the safest metro cities in the country," Speaks said.

      There will be no layoffs of police officers or firefighters next year, but this year's $464.6 million public-safety budget is being cut by about $1.5 million for 2009, Speaks said. Other money is being saved by not filling jobs and not buying as many cruisers.

      In addition, all classes for prospective police officers and firefighters have been canceled.

      As a result, the Police Division's force will decrease to 1,849 in 2009, compared with a high of 1,927 in 2007.

      The Fire Division's force is expected to drop to 1,500, down from a high of 1,540 in 2006.

      And police officers and firefighters might be called upon to do more because of other city budget cuts. The budget calls for the elimination of 25 civilian police employees and seven civilian fire employees.

      "This budget is going to push our folks to the limit," Ginther said.

      Speaks said the police and fire divisions are anticipating a greater loss of employees in 2011 because of a state-mandated retirement program. He said the city might have to replace 263 police officers and 150 firefighters who are slated to retire by the end of 2011, if the city wants to return to authorized force levels.

      Ginther said both divisions hope to be restored to optimum staffing levels, which could mean millions of dollars in the coming years.

      Meanwhile, neighborhood community leaders asked Ginther to consider restoring proposed cuts for the Community Crime Patrol.

      The budget for the citizen crime-patrol program would be slashed from $443,000 this year to $200,000. Ellen Moore, executive director for Community Crime Patrol Inc., said neighborhood patrols would be cut in half.

      Ian MacConnell, president of the University Area Commission, spoke of the importance of such patrols. He said a community crime-patrol officer helped identify and arrest a man in April who was brandishing a machete on N. High Street, possibly preventing a tragedy.

      Bob Leighty, a neighborhood activist for Merion Village, said the city's decision to cut funding for the program is "incredibly shortsighted."



      • #4
        As a result, the Police Division's force will decrease to 1,849 in 2009, compared with a high of 1,927 in 2007.
        When I retired in 1997 the department strength was 1700 officers. That means over a 12 year time frame, CPD has gained 150 officers, + or -. I'd say that number sucks. When compared to simular size city police departments, Columbus is low in manpower. And keep in mind, IIRC, Columbus is the 15th largest city in the US. It always has and always will be low regarding the hiring of new officers vs. the number of retirees, not to mention the officer/citizen ratio. This department should probably have 2200 officers.
        The views/opinions expressed here are solely mine. I'm retired and I don't care. I truly do not want to offend anyone, but if you are thin skinned and have no sense of humor, you better find another line of work. Therefore, I don't have to be politically correct and I will exercise my freedom of speech, until it's taken away. May God bless all retirees. We've done our duty and earned our peace.


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