Cincinnati police down 107 officers, retention bonuses needed to avert ‘critical officer shortage’ FOP leader says
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The city of Cincinnati is short 107 officers right now and nearly 250 will be able to retire by next year, according to the leader of the union that represents Cincinnati police.
Retired Sgt. Dan Hils is calling on city leaders to leverage federal and state grants to pay retention bonuses to keep officers from leaving the force.
This comes after nine people were hurt in a mass shooting Downtown in the early morning hours of Aug. 7. It was the fourth mass shooting in the city so far this year.
“As the quick response to the recent downtown mass shooting showed, Cincinnati police officers are a vital component to keeping our community safe. However, the numbers of officers on the force and in the academy show an alarming crisis that must be averted,” reads an FOP news release.
Hils said in the release: “I’m calling on city leadership to join the many law enforcement agencies that are leveraging federal and state grants to pay retention bonuses to keep police officers from leaving the force. Cincinnati is 107 officers short right now and nearly 250 officers are able to retire by next year. It would be reckless of city leadership not to seek these grants to help keep our community safe.”
“Is there a personnel crisis in the Cincinnati police department? Is there a personnel crisis? No, by my definition of a personnel crisis, no. Do we have to constantly have to be shifting where we deploy our resources to make sure we have adequate coverage? Yes,” CPD Interim Police Chief Teresa Theetge said last week.
Cincinnati has 952 police officers on the force, far fewer than the 1,059 officers the department is supposed to have, according to the FOP release.
“Further, more than 200 CPD officers are eligible to retire right now while an additional 51 officers will become eligible to retire by 2023. In the last eight months, we’ve already seen 40 CPD officers retire,” Hils wrote.
“Paying law enforcement bonuses can help with both retaining officers and attracting new ones,” Hils continued. “Our class at the academy right now is supposed to have 53 recruits but there are only 34. We simply can’t keep losing more and more officers while failing to recruit new ones. If this trend keeps up, there won’t be enough officers to prevent the kind of violence we just saw in Over the Rhine.”
Hils said the following law enforcement agencies paid retention bonuses, often at no cost to the government entities, due to state and federal grants:
- Ohio State Highway Patrol
- West Chester Police Department
- Fairfield Township Police Department
- Sebring Police Department
- Mansfield Police Department
- Richland County Sheriff’s Office
- Athens Police Department
- Kent Police Department
- Mentor Police Department
- Toledo Police Department
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