North Toledoans fear rise in violence after police layoffs

Reported by Jonathan Walsh email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

NORTH TOLEDO (WTOL) - Having fewer police officers available in times of need is a big concern to Toledoans, including some in north Toledo.

"It's been on my mind. I was just discussing it with my friend earlier," Pat Montgomery said. "Especially with having children and having so many children in our neighborhood -- it scares me."

Toledo Municipal Court Judge Timothy Kuhlman says the first police cuts scheduled for the beginning of next month will, indeed, have an effect on safety.

"If you listen to the street, they know the party starts May 1," Kuhlman said. "Never believe that the wonderful job that our current Toledo police officers are doing does not have an incredible effect on what happens in our neighborhoods."

Families and parents in north Toledo couldn't agree more.

"Especially in this neighborhood around here, we need all the officers  -- we need more officers. We don't need to lay off any," said Keith Kegley, who says he's been a witness to crime.

If layoffs do hit Toledo, a city that boasted a reduction in overall crime last year, people in this part of town predict the worst will happen.

"There will be more gang violence and stuff going to be out of control," said Shaina Reese.

That is a scenario that doesn't still well with Montgomery, because if there is a problem, her prediction is: "If it's nothing as serious as a shooting or stabbing, you might as well not call the police because they probably won't even come."