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.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano focused on the importance of partnering with local law enforcement during remarks Monday morning to the National Fraternal Order of Police convention in Cincinnati.
She told some 4,000 first responders from around the country and Ireland that her department has been beefing up its cooperative efforts, especially by creating Fusion Centers where national and local agencies can share information.
An estimated 3,000 police officers from as far away as Ireland, are in Cincinnati for a convention that begins Monday and continues through Friday. The Convention and Visitors Bureau puts the economic impact at $4.5 million and contracted hotel room nights of more than 15,000 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
The unions representing Cincinnati police officers and firefighters are filing a lawsuit concerning the city's health care dependent audit.
The city wants employees to verify their spouses and children are legitimately eligible for city health benefits. That includes providing things like marriage licenses, tax returns and birth certificates.
The deadline for that information is Wednesday. Those who fail to comply will loose dependent coverage.