Fee that would charge police officers for working off-duty delayed

A measure that would have charged a fee to police officers who work off-duty for private businesses, wearing city uniforms and carrying city issued guns, did not go into effect Friday as originally planned.

A spokesperson for the city confirmed to FOX19 that the City Manager decided they will not start charging that fee. The city manager announced they are postponing the date after Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz's request that the measure first be reviewed by the Finance Committee on Monday.

The president of the city's Fraternal Order of Police union, Kathy Harrell, says they are waiting to see what the city's final decision will be before they consider filing a grievance against the measure.

"[The City Manager] doesn't want to have to put it into effect and then council change it not being a 4.90 hour fee and then have to go back and change everything," says Harrell.

Harrell also says the City Manager's decision to hold off on charging off duty officers an hourly fee is a good call.

"He's making the right decision. He's going to wait until it's debated, until he gets word that council's going to keep it into effect at an hourly rate, or that they're going to go ahead and change it to a onetime fee, or who knows what they're going to do with it."

Just a week and a half ago, some council members high hopes that they'd be able to come up with a solution before today, but Councilman Wendell Young says the clock ran out before changes could be made.

"We didn't have time enough to do what I wanted to do. We just needed a lot more information that we currently have," said Young. "There are too many unknowns. 900,000 to administer that program seems excessive to me. I just can't fathom why it costs that much. I don't know if it maybe costs that much because police officers administer it, I don't know if it's something that civilian's can do at a much lesser cost?"

Now all sights are set on next week's finance committee meeting.

Kathy Harrell says, "Monday hopefully a lot of questions can be answered and it's not fair to put a fee on one department that's policing in Cincinnati on these details, but that it should be anybody working in the Cincinnati area.

Councilman Young says, "I'm just simply looking for enough information to decide that we made the right decision in the first place or is there something we can do to be more fair and at the same time not take the tax payer for a ride."

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