Cincinnati gets $6.4 million grant for police

There was some encouraging news Wednesday in the ongoing saga over whether the city of Cincinnati will layoff about 50 police officers and firefighters next year.

Cincinnati Police will receive a $6.5 million grant to save or create 25 jobs.

City Manager Milton Dohoney had asked for $13 million.

The Middletown Police Department also received a $1 million federal grant.

Its not yet clear if the grant money for Cincinnati will stave off layoffs in the police department.

Staffing within the fire department is also uncertain, but there's reason for optimism.

Belt tightening has become a way of life for many cities across the nation, and Cincinnati is no exception. Meg Olberding with the city manager's office says the dismal economic forecast is starting to look a little brighter.

Olberding says getting about half the money the city asked for will be a great help, plus she says Cincinnati's finances appear to be on the upswing.

"We were up a little bit in August, we got $11 million more than we anticipated over last year," said Olberding. "We also just announced Omnicare is moving their headquarters here which will be another 500 or so jobs. That will help our revenue picture, so all in all we'll have to look at what this means for the police officers in the context of all that."

Its also unclear if the city will be able to avoid layoffs in the fire department, but Matt Alder with the Cincinnati Fire Department says his members are trying to remain upbeat.

"I think the future's uncertain right now for fire fighters. We really don't know and we're optimistic...we're hopeful that brighter days are ahead," he said.

Alder also says the rank and file are taking it all in stride and while council works on that budget. Alder says fire fighters have a message for council members.

"Public safety needs to be priority number one here in the city of Cincinnati, that safe cities are what helps us build, what's going to help us continue to be a first class city and we want city council to understand that during the budget process that they need to keep police and fire on the front burner," said Alder.

The fire department is hoping to get a million dollar federal grant which will go a long way towards preventing layoffs.

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