Here's Something Non-Obama
I know everyone's abuzz this afternoon about the Barack Obama appearance at U.C. But here are a couple things on a different topic - public safety in Cincinnati.
You might remember the fight in December when Police Chief Tom Streicher said he'd return some money to the city that he didn't spend on walking patrols. Council specifically told him they wanted him to spend $2.7 million on targeted overtime in neighborhoods, much of that with officers on foot.
Now, City Manager Milton Dohoney's office has produced a spreadsheet to make sure 2008's spending is better tracked. It should show how many hours officers spend on foot, bikes, horses and Segways. It says among the spots targeted for walking patrols will be the downtown convention center, Fountain Square, the riverfront and various locations in the central business district. It also says the police overtime will be used as part of the city's 90-day focused efforts in three neighborhoods this year.
On to the fire department: Chief Robert Wright will be at council's Law and Public Safety Committee meeting, 2 p.m. Tuesday, to talk about the ongoing shortage of ambulances. Dohoney says in a memo to council that "it has been long recognized and acknowledged that the city of Cincinnati has an insufficient number of EMS transport units for a city of our population and geographic size."
Adding the 51 recommended firefighters to the department - enough to staff four additional ambulances for a total of 14 and hire four more paramedic field supervisors per shift - would cost more than $3.1 million in salaries, training, uniforms, etc., and another $830,000 in vehicles and $775,000 in radios, cell phones, laptops and ambulance supplies.