Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTOL) - More and more Toledo police officers will soon turn in their badge and gun and call it a career.
"We'll go through 2010 with another 50 retirements, and then soon into 2011 will be another 50 to 75," said Council Member Mike Collins.
The problem, according to Collins, is that the city is failing to plan for that scenario. "The reality is our list is probably challengeable, and I don't know if they would want to go back to the list. It's over 5 years old."
Because the city doesn't have a test prepared to start the recruiting process, Collins said that's going to handcuff the next mayor toward bringing on board new officers.
"Best case scenario: If we would start today, starting a class in December of 2010 would be a realistic challenge," said Collins.
Mayoral candidates weigh in
Keith Wilkowski may inherit the situation. He's worried the city will have problems maintaining staffing levels to satisfy the requirements of the $7 million cops grant.
"Failure to do something as fundamental as have a test in place could put us in breach of our obligation to the federal government," said Wilkowski.
Mike Bell said if he's the next mayor, he'll tackle the issue on day one. "To hit the ground running, what we'll do is take a count of what's not working. We'll start on crucial issues: police hiring, fire hiring -- be able to make sure we have a list to get on right away."
Calls to the Mayor Finkbeiner's office for this report were not returned.