When talk of police layoffs in Cleveland heated up last fall, enforcement of the law slowed considerably, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Police wrote far fewer tickets, starting in November than in previous years. Drunken-driving and felony arrests also dropped. Also during the layoff debate, both police and firefighters called in sick at much higher rates.
The ticket and arrest slowdown continued through January and the city collected tens of thousands of dollars less in fines and court costs. “It’s a huge concern,” Mayor Jane Campbell said. “It’s clear the folks aren’t doing their jobs.”
Traffic tickets and arrests began to climb again in February, although they still didn’t reach pre-slowdown levels. Cleveland laid off 250 police officers and 70 firefighters on Jan. 5 after protests, court battles, and negotiations. Bob Beck, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, denied an organized slowdown in ticketing or arrests.