TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo Police Department is preparing to graduate a new class of officers. The 39 cadets graduating Friday night will provide a much-needed boost to the department.
Chief Derrick Diggs has stated that he does not have the manpower he would like, and these cadets can change that:
"It's going to have a strong impact on our levels, it's not where I would like to be, but it's better than where we've been."
However, Councilman D. Michael Collins, chair of the Public Safety Committee, is worried that additions from the new class may be negated by police retirements.
The city of Toledo has been in trouble due to an economic downturn and resulting city budget cuts that have driven staffing levels to among the lowest in the country.
The city of Cincinnati has 15,000 more residents than Toledo, but more than double the number of officers. As of Thursday, the Toledo Police Department has 538 officers, and that number has fallen every year since 2006, when the department had 150 more officers.
"It calls to service because some of our lower priority calls take a little longer to respond to." said Diggs.
Another police class is set to begin in September, and another will begin in early 2013. While Chief Diggs says he would like to see staffing above 700, he says he has received a commitment from the mayor for levels above 600 by the end of next year.