TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Toledo's Police force is dangerously low. After years of officers retiring and police classes not graduating TPD does not have the recommended amount of officers on the department for a city of Toledo's size.
Right now in manpower there are 602 officers but there should be at least 660.
The only way to bump the manpower up is to get more officers through the academy. That's why this year, the Police Academy is doing something the city has never seen before; having two police classes sworn in.
For years there was not enough in the budget to cover classes like these at Toledo's Police academy which resulted in more and more officers retiring and their positions not being filled. In order to make up for the shrinking force, officers were transferred out of investigating roles and community service areas to cover the streets.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz has committed to not just budgeting for police classes to graduate enough officers to cover retirements, but wants to graduate enough officers to build the department back up to where it should be at 660 officers.
"Officers want to get out of their cars and meet people and walk in the neighborhoods and build relationships but they are not able to do that with the numbers as low and small as the force is," said Mayor Kapszukiewicz.
The graduating class in February was a second class of 40 officers and will hit the academy in July and also in November.
Chief Kral is appreciative that the Mayor recognizes the need and said if you live or work in Toledo you will see the difference once the force is back to it's full strength.
"It means they are going to see more police officers they are going to see more marked presence they are going to see more officers on foot, more officers on bikes and we are going to expand out plain clothes and undercover officers," explained Chief Kral.
The money for these classes come from the the General Fund. The Mayor found a way to fund these classes because it was a matter of public safety.