Cincinnati police chief wants more officers

October 8, 2018 by  

Eliot Isaac, Cincinnati’s police chief, has asked for more police officers, even as the city grapples with budget problems, and has pushed back the latest class of recruits.

Chief Isaac sent a memo to Patrick Duhaney, the acting city manager, warning him that the department will end up having to pay a lot of overtime if the number of sworn officers continues to decline. For a long time, Cincinnati had 1,057 law enforcement officers, but the number is now down to 1,017, and by Spring 2019 could fall to below 1,000, mostly due to attrition. If the number of officers is fewer than 1,000, there might not be anyone available to answer a call.

Last June, the city council considered the 2019 budget, and voted to delay the next recruit class, which has 45 members. It believed that doing so would help cover a shortfall of about $32 million. It has now planned to start the next class in April. Graduates from professional academies like this need business cards to reflect their new status.

In his memo, Isaac goes on to say that when the department has to operate below its authorized strength, its patrol forces struggle and may have to work extra shifts. In order to spare the officers such a heavy workload, Isaac is asking the city explore every option at its disposal to allow the recruit class to start sooner than planned.