TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz held a news conference Thursday morning to address safety in Toledo, including recent gun violence.
Toledo Police, Toledo Police Command and Toledo Fire Department members were also at the the conference to announce their endorsement for Kapszukiewicz as mayor.
"I am pleased and proud to accept the endorsement of the Toledo Firefighters Local 92, Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and the Toledo Police Command Association," Kapszukiewicz said. "I appreciate the support of the hard working men and women of our safety forces."
Kapszukiewicz called it a clean sweep of endorsements from the city's public safety officers.
"In the last week alone, 10 of our neighbors were shot. Three of them were killed including two young Toledoans, both only 18-years-old," Kapszukiewicz said.
One of the centerpieces of Kapszukiewicz's platform is putting more officers on the streets, something TPPA President Vince Manera says is vitally important to keep the city safe.
"Proactive policing is also a crucial part of it, and without the numbers, it is very difficult to be proactive," Manera said.
Kapszukiewicz says he wants to have 40 officers in the Toledo Police Academy every year. Factoring in retirement, Kapszukiewicz says the department could grow about 15 officers a year.
"This will enable officers to get out of their squad cars and build relationships in the neighborhoods," Kapszukiewicz said. "Get to know business owners and do the sort of community policing that we need."
Firefighters originally endorsed Kapszukiewicz in July. They say his work with the land bank that helped to reduce blighted, vacant properties in the city impressed them.
"Our man power at that time was 103, it's now 110," said Local 92 president Jeffrey Koenigseker. "So with seven more people we are making twice as many runs and we are very much overworked."
When asked about the endorsement, the Paula Hicks-Hudson campaign manager Sam Melendez sent the following statement on the endorsement: