The new federal stimulus law “will help communities throughout America keep their neighborhoods safer with more cops, more prosecutors, more probation officers, more radios and equipment, more help for crime victims and more crime prevention programs for youth,” President Obama said today. Obama spoke in Columbus, Ohio, which is using stimulus money to pay a new class of police cadets. The president cited other anticrime programs in Georgia, California, Connecticut, and Iowa that will benefit from the new law.
Because of a $13 million shortfall in Columbus’ $630 million budget, Mayor Michael Coleman announced on Jan. 27 that 25 members of a cadet class poised to graduate from the police academy after six months of training would be pink-slipped before they hit the streets. The Washington Post reports that Coleman secured $1.25 million in stimulus funds and rescued the cadets. Columbus has averaged two police training classes per year in recent years. Coleman says there will be no second class this year. The Associated Press reports that the new officers will barely account for expected retirements this year. The department could shrink by next year, and dozens of retirements are expected by the end of 2011.