Cincinnati Police Reform Voided By Arbitrator

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A Cincinnati arbitrator has ruled that a negotiated contract for the Fraternal Order of Police supercedes a voter initiative on how assistant police chiefs should be hired. The measure approved after 2001 riots allowed the city to go outside the force to hire chiefs and assistant chiefs and removed those positions from civil-service protection.

Proponents said the initiative would change the culture of the police department by starting at the top. “This is obviously a finger in the eye of the voters who passed it,” City Council member Pat DeWine said of the decision. “What this arbitrator says is it doesn’t matter what the voters say.”

The new deal will cost the city $185,000: $30,000 in legal fees, $5,000 to the arbitrator and $150,000 for pay increases to assistant chiefs. Supervisors make up about a quarter of the 1,050-member force.


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