Federal funding saves police recruits
On Feb. 25, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Public Safety Director Mitchell Brown met with 26 recruits of the Division of Police's 114th class to inform them that the layoff notices issued to them last month will be rescinded and that they will have the opportunity to graduate and join the Columbus Division of Police. Coleman and his team were able to secure from the Department of Justice early approval to use $1.25 million of Byrne/Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds that Columbus will be receiving from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Since Jan. 27 I have been working tirelessly with my team to keep those layoff notices from going into effect,” said Coleman. “We made a strong case to the White House and the Department of Justice about the unique situation in Columbus and we are grateful to both President Obama and Attorney General Holder for helping us put officers on our streets.”
After initial discussions with Department of Justice officials during Mayor Coleman's visit to the White House on Friday, the Mayor and Public Safety officials worked with White House and the Department of Justice staff over the past five days to expedite the grant process and to ensure that the anticipated Byrne/JAG formula dollars can be used to allow these officers to graduate and to join the division of police without being laid off.
“As we look at every dime we spend in the Public Safety Department, 90 percent is for salaries and benefits, and cutting staff is the most difficult cut possible,” said Brown. “These young men and women have made great sacrifices to become Columbus police officers and I am proud that we are able to save this class.”
Police Division recruits were scheduled to graduate last month but were served layoff notices as a part of an additional $13 million that needed to be cut to balance the 2009 City of Columbus General Fund Budget. The recruits finished their educational program and were given 30 days of employment with full benefits and pay as non-sworn employees of the Division.
^ back to top