Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer today will announce anticrime initiatives, including the acceleration of a three-year police-hiring plan, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Police will add a fourth patrol division that will focus on downtown and the high-crime neighborhoods to the west. “It’s high on everyone’s priority list right now,” Chief Mike McCoy said. “The impact is going to be significant.”
Dyer will bolster the recruiting of new officers by increasing pay for police-academy students from $12 to $14.62 per hour, adding background investigators to speed the hiring process, and establishing a relocation incentive for officers who move from other areas. Initiatives that target at-risk youth will be expanded, including “After School All-Stars,” a program that now operates in schools but will be widened to include neighborhood and community centers. The Orlando Magic have pledged $250,000 toward the youth programs.