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Councilman wants to put part of Cincinnati’s stimulus toward police recruit class

New motion looks to use some of the city’s $290M to get more officers
Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 2:44 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati will get about $290 million under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and some councilmembers are hoping to use a part of that to crack down on crime.

City Councilman Steve Goodin and Christopher Smitherman have co-sponsored a motion to put some of the city’s stimulus allotment towards a new Cincinnati Police Department recruit class.

“Our police force is below 1,000 officers for the first time in 30 years,” said Goodin. “That means on some nights, there are fewer than 300 officers available. We also spent $6 million in overtime last year. We need more police officers.”

Friday, Goodin and community activists met at Grant Park, the site of 10 homicides since 2019. In August, 11 people were shot and two were killed in the park during a violent night across the city.

“We want the police recruit class,” said John Dolandson, the area’s block-watch captain. “We need to stop the revolving door out of prison. A lot of the guys who come here and hang out don’t live here and cause the problems.”

However, Goodin says policing alone won’t solve the problems. The motion also requests thousands of dollars towards youth engagement activities, like Rev. Peterson Mingo’s Rites of Passage youth camp and sports program.

“They need direction,” said Mingo about the youth he works with. “If we don’t give them direction, the streets will.”

This motion is personal for Hope Dudley, whose son Chaz was murdered in 2007.

“As time goes by, we need more technology, upgraded material to solve these cases. The community does not need our police department defunded. My goal is to do whatever I can to support the homicide department and bring attention to the cases,” said Dudley.

Goodin says the recruit class needs about $1 million, the Rites of Passage program about $150,000 and $40,000 for Hope Dudley’s UCanSpeakForMe organization. The exact final amounts are not yet available.

The motion has been sent to the mayor, according to Goodin. He says it is expected to go to the Law and Public Safety Committee in the next two weeks.

“Often when we hear folks talk about ‘defund the police,’ they say that money should be spent on social services, says Goodin.” “Frankly, in a civil society, we think you have to do both.”

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