Cleveland, OH. - The City of Akron, Ohio, is aggressively searching for men and women to join their police academy. In Summit County, Akron has expanded its search to the inner City of Cleveland. With crime skyrocketing throughout parts of the State of Ohio, cities are preparing for massive recruitment of qualified men and women who want a career in law enforcement. The City of Akron has implemented a billboard campaign throughout the City of Cleveland looking for potential candidates.
Similar to the City of Cleveland, the City of Akron is impacted with rash criminal behaviors by ill-elements: guns, violence, robberies, burglaries, questionable police behavior, and carjackings. In August of 2022, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that Akron’s Police Department was being challenged by the loss of workforce on the force. “The loss of more veteran officers — as well as the increased resignations of younger ones — are among the challenges the Akron Police Department and other law enforcement agencies across the country are facing in the wake of high-profile officer-involved incidents that have heightened the animosity of many in public toward police,” reported by the Akron Beacon Journal.
Simultaneously, the City of Cleveland also is impacted by the same variables as Akron. In November of 2022, Newsnet 5 reported that the City of Cleveland is dangerously understaffed and may worsen. They said that approximately 30% of officers are eligible to retire. Like police departments across the country, Cleveland’s recruiting efforts of police officers failed. In August of 2022, it was reported that the City of Cleveland had a graduating class of 25. Unfortunately, the following police academy class was canceled due to a lack of participants.
During Justin Bibb’s campaign for Mayor, Bibb promised Clevelanders that if elected, he would increase the police workforce and hire a marketing firm to help the City attract police officers. Since his tenure as Cleveland’s Mayor, Bibb’s strategic recruitment efforts has fallen by the wayside. A recent budget report reported that the Bibb Administration is removing 140 open police positions to help balance the 2023 City of Cleveland’s budget. As of December 2022, the City of Cleveland was short almost 300 officers, according to Fox 8 news I-Team. To better understand this equation, should the Bibb administration do away with 140 positions for police personnel, the City would be down 160 officers - not that we have more police on the street, but only because the positions were eliminated to balance the budget.
Akron’s Mayor, Dan Horrigan, told Fox 8 News that the City has a budgeted staff of 470 police officers; the goal is to hire as many as 35 new officers so they can conduct a civil service exam during March 2023. To reach the goal, Akron is open to recruiting potential officers and new candidates from outside their County and in other cities.
Not everyone agrees 100% with this type of strategy.
Is it best to recruit within our communities?
Councilwoman Tara Mosley says, “while we can all appreciate that police departments all over the area—and all over the nation—are facing recruitment difficulties, I still believe that the best police force is a local police force. So, I believe it is counterproductive for the Akron Police Department to try to recruit new officers who do not live in the greater Akron area. We certainly have to be innovative. But there are better innovations than trying to lure folks out of town to police our neighbors. For example, I have long advocated raising the minimum age for hiring officers, expanding the recruiting pool, and giving our peace-keeping forces some of the added wisdom that comes with age. Ultimately, I believe it is to everyone’s benefit if we find ways to expand our search for recruits at home before we look outside our community. The best people to keep the peace in Akron are our fellow Akronites,” stated Councilwoman Tara Mosley. Mosley is also a Candidate for Mayor of the City of Akron, OH.
“I hope the City of Cleveland is just as aggressive with police recruitment efforts. Just because the City may get rid of open positions does not mean that recruitment goals are met. I hope this is not a case of attempting to hoodwink and deceive Clevelanders. If Akron is in our City recruiting, we should’ve been just as aggressive in exchanging the favor. Clevelanders, we deserve to be safe just like any other City - we also want quality candidates and police officers that know our communities,” scoffed Cleveland Resident and Advocate Geraldine Williams.
Individuals interested in becoming Police officers may contact the City of Akron Police Department for more information. The Billboard is located on 55th street near Scovill Ave, City of Cleveland.
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