Cleveland Reducing The Number Of Police Officer Positions As Hiring Lags

For the second year in a row, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb’s administration has proposed stripping more positions from the city’s shrinking police department. Last year, council members criticized, but eventually approved, Bibb’s proposal to cut 142 vacant officer positions from the police budget.

Cleveland is among several cities since 2020 that has had more officers quit and retire than they’ve been able to recruit. A U.S. Department of Justice report released in October called it a “historic crisis” and attributed it to a slew of issues: the COVID-19 pandemic, a tight labor market, community frustration with policing and concerns about officer health and safety. Cleveland has 25% fewer officers than it did before the pandemic.

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