Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Harrell had a blunt message for city council about police department staffing.
“We’re at the point right now that officers out on the street lives are in jeopardy,” Harrell said. “I’m going to get a lot of slack for saying that, but I don’t care. They’re out there with 187 less officers.”
Harrell testified Tuesday before Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.
Without new officers, the department could be down 267 officers by the end of 2015. Harrell said something has to change.
“You cannot continue to expect the officers of Cincinnati to be able to police, remain safe, keep their citizens safe, when you talk about these drastic numbers,” Harrell said.
The city is considering hiring 20 to 30 officers from other area police departments and beginning a new recruit class in the summer. There could be 30 to 60 recruits trained during a two-year period.
But even those efforts will still leave the Cincinnati Police Department short of its authorized strength of more than 1,000 officers.