Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is announcing a $1 million plan today to put more cops on the streets through a combination of overtime and hiring officers from other departments, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Obviously, we have an alarming homicide rate this year,” Cranley told the Enquirer, noting that slayings generally spike in the warmer months – and the city already has 11 cases in 2014. “This is becoming a public safety crisis that we have to try to mitigate to the extent that we can.”
The plan includes the first recruit class in more than five years and new or renewed approaches to fighting crime. The mayor and city manager don't need council approval for the immediate changes, which will be covered by $1 million in savings Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell has achieved through delays in filling civilian jobs. However, Cranley will ask for a council motion to support the changes and commit to paying for a 60-member recruit class. Fifteen to 20 officers will be hired away from other police departments. The department estimates it will take six weeks to make the hires and six to eight weeks more for specialized Cincinnati police training before the officers can hit the streets. Police overtime will be authorized – $600,000 worth through June and an anticipated $600,000 for the 2015 fiscal year, which starts July 1. A new, 60-member police recruit class – the first since 2008 – is targeted to start in July.