Police union, city manager meet over furloughs

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Keeping police officers on the streets will be the hot topic in a meeting between the Fraternal Order of Police and City Manager Milton Dohoney.

The meeting will take place Tuesday morning.

City officials want officers to take six days of unpaid leave this year to help balance Cincinnati's possible $20 million budget deficit.

"Wake up! It's not my job to help balance the city's budget. Council members got elected to do that," said Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Harrell. "We think that there are a lot of other cuts that can be made,when you look at the budget that was passed, that five council members signed off on at council last week. There are a lot of things in there that could be cut that aren't being cut."

Dohoney and other leaders think the furloughs would help balance the city's budget. But Harrell points to a possible catch 22 in the city plan.

"We said to the city manager, if every city employee gives six days, will you guarantee us that there will not be any layoffs? He looked at us and said, 'I cannot give you that guarantee.' So that's the problem we're faced with," she said.

Harrell also says selling the plan to her members will be hard.

"My membership isn't very trusting right now. They want six days back, they are not guaranteeing that they won't layoff, they still have not paid us for what we wanted contractually, a lot of my members feel that they bargained in bad faith," she said. "This is the thing, it's not my decision, it's my membership's decision."

It's a decision she says could be pivotal for the future of the police department.

If the union turns this plan down, city council will have to come up with a new plan to fill in that money.

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