Clifton businesses struggle to hire officers for off-duty details amid police shortage

Police officer shortage impacting business owners
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:48 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:50 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Clifton business owners say a shortage of Cincinnati police officers is making it harder for them to find ones who can work off-duty details.

The Clifton Business Association created a fund last year to pay for police visibility to promote safety as they try to keep the business district thriving, says the group’s president, Mike Anagnostou, owner of Ludlow Wines.

“We have the Ludlow Garage. We have the Esquire Theatre, which is our regional art house theater. People like the charm of the Clifton Business District,” he said.

But even with the off-duty detail fund, Anagnostou says they haven’t been able to hire officers.

”We hear a lot about what’s going on at city hall and some of the challenges they have to meet in terms of budgeting and trying to get more police officers....So we do understand it,” he said.

Off-duty details are becoming less attractive to officers because they’re already receiving extra pay to work overtime for the police department, according to retired Sgt. Dan Hils, president of the union that represents Cincinnati police.

”It’s a compounding of a problem. You’re 120 police officers short so then the ones that are there on the streets are forced to work a lot of overtime,” he said.

Hils said it’s simple supply and demand: An officer shortage means you’ll have to pay an officer more money to incentivize them to work the off-duty detail.

”There’s a lot of demand for police officers and off-duty police officers to work. It’s an excellent service to have outside of your door if you’re a business because you’re pretty much guaranteed not to have serious trouble and you’re guaranteed a lot of safety. So it comes at a price.”

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