The Cleveland police department received some good news today. It was one of 1000 police departments nationwide to receive federal stimulus funds. The money is intended to keep police forces running smoothly despite the troubling economic times. ideastream®'s Ida Lieszkovszky reports.
More than 7,000 police agencies applied for federal funding nationwide, and Cleveland was one of the lucky few to get a piece of the pie --- a fairly large slice, almost $12 million dollars worth.
Cleveland's director of Public Safety, Martin Flask says that'll be enough to hire and pay for 50 additional police officers for the next three years, after which point the city will foot the bill. Flask says it wasn’t hard to make the case for federal funds.
FLASK: We can document through our attrition rates, our hires, the layoffs that were experienced here in 2004 and just the demographics and the financial information that we had available, we made a good argument.
The 2004 layoffs he refers to cut more than 250 jobs, a move which the police department strongly protested at the time. Flask says the increase in police officers will decrease response time and make Cleveland a safer city.
FLASK: these officers when they're hired will be used in direct support of the needs and expectations of the residents.
Flask says the city plans to hire between 225 and 275 more police officers over the next two years. The first step is to take a civil service test, open to anyone interested. Registration to take the exam ends this Friday at the Cleveland convention center.