Cincinnati councilman pulls support of city-county police merger

Councilman Wendell Young (Source: City of Cincinnati)
Councilman Wendell Young (Source: City of Cincinnati)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati councilman has pulled his support of the merger between the Cincinnati Police Department and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

In a statement released Saturday, councilman Wendell Young gave three reasons for why he is pulling his support for the merger. The reasons he gave were:

1. This idea came up during the budget discussions last December.  We were faced with the possibility of laying off over one hundred police officers.  However, some Councilmembers thought we might be able to get the Sheriff's Office to take them on.  I found this better than having these officers laid off which would have a real economic impact on their families.

2. The idea of looking at a merger was tacked on to this discussion during this time as some members of Council thought we could save ten million dollars and while not sold on this idea—I saw no harm in looking at it. Furthermore, the budget was passed without any police layoffs.

3. However, the City Manager has issued a statement saying that he's holding up the search for a new chief until the idea of a merger is settled.  I believe that holding up this important search will only create further morale problems within the police division and the search should move forward expeditiously.  Frankly, I believe such a merger is fraught with many problems anyway and I'm uncertain about this merger ever coming to pass.  We need to move on.

The decision to combine the city and county police offices is still under debate.

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