Mayor Bell urges City Council to act on public safety measures - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Mayor Bell urges City Council to act on public safety measures

The Toledo Police Athletic League is currently operating out of a temporary facility, which is why Mayor Bell is urging City Council to approve a spending measure. The Toledo Police Athletic League is currently operating out of a temporary facility, which is why Mayor Bell is urging City Council to approve a spending measure.
Mayor Mike Bell and acting Police Chief Derrick Diggs says $380,000 is needed for a major upgrade in computer software for the data-driven policing project. Mayor Mike Bell and acting Police Chief Derrick Diggs says $380,000 is needed for a major upgrade in computer software for the data-driven policing project.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Some public safety spending measures are becoming sources of controversy between Toledo's mayor and a member of City Council. More than $600,000 have been proposed for two separate issues.

While Toledo Mayor Mike Bell calls it "an alarming trend," saying Council is holding up passage of some public safety measures, Councilman Mike Collins says all he is doing is making sure taxpayer money is not going to waste.

Bell held a press conference Tuesday morning at the Toledo Police Athletic League's temporary facility in north Toledo, calling on Toledo City Council members to act on three public safety measures currently before them. The measures include ordinances to expend CIP funds to continue development of the data-driven policing initiative, expend funds to establish a permanent, city-owned facility for the PAL youth program, plus appointment of Derrick Diggs as police chief.

The Toledo PAL is currently operating out of a temporary facility. Bell is urging Council to approve a $250,000 spending measure to finish and reopen the facility on Manhattan Boulevard. The city reduced the amount to install utilities for the athletic center, which were provided by the Leverette Middle School, until it was torn down.

"People are talking about 'Well, we want you to do something positive.' Well, none of that happens without putting money to it. If somebody thinks it's going to happen for free, it doesn't," said Bell.

Even though the city currently leases this from Toledo Public Schools, the mayor says it is a worthy investment to help mentor teens in the community.

"We're trying to put our fortune into it to be able make sure that this program continues because these kids, to me, are important," said Bell.

Collins says he is not opposed to the PAL, but he is opposed to the city investing money in property it does not own.

"If the city owned the property on Manhattan, I would have to issue with it whatsoever," said Collins. "We have no property right, other than the fact we have a one-year lease for $1. That's it."

Another source of contention between the mayor and the councilman is a proposal to spend $380,000 to pay for a major upgrade in computer software for the data-driven policing project. Acting Police Chief Derrick Diggs says the money is needed to help analyze information, as well as better utilize the new surveillance cameras and increase police man power.

"It makes absolutely no sense to me as mayor, that we don't move on something that could really be able to help the city," said Bell.

According to Collins, the city should make sure the original investment of more than $1 million is working to its full potential.

"Before we put another penny into this project, shouldn't we make sure what we've invested right now is living up to expectations?" asked Collins.

The $380,000 measure is currently being held in committee.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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