CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland’s police union on Wednesday asked the city for extra money for the union’s 1,500 police officers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer sent a letter, obtained by cleveland.com, to Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley and Councilman Matt Zone, the chairman of council’s public safety committee.
Follmer asked for the city to approve an extra $1,200 per month for all officers because of the risk of exposure the officers face every day and the impact on the officers and their families. At least three Cleveland police officers have tested positive so far from the virus.
“As with other emergency responders they are potentially exposed to COVID-19 daily which, as you know, is extraordinarily stressful not just for each member but for their families as well,” Follmer wrote.
Messages left with the city and Zone were not returned. Kelley said the mayor’s administration would likely not need the approval from city council to approve the hazardous-duty pay.
“I certainly am sensitive to the fact that police officers are interfacing with the public,” Kelley said. “And that comes with certain risks. It’s something to be considered.”
Follmer wrote his officers must deal with extra expenses because they are unable to help with child care, elderly family members and must sanitize their equipment and clothes after each shift.
Police officers have been required to wear masks while on duty, put masks on anyone they arrest, patrol the city in separate cars, instead of two officers to each cruiser, and must undergo a health screening with a temperature test prior to entering police headquarters or any of the city’s five police district buildings.