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Middletown planning to add more police officers in 2021: What to know about the budget

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Posted at 8:50 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 11:40:10-05

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Middletown will see a leaner public safety budget in 2021 but expects to add more police officers on the streets.

The largest part of the city’s budget is in public safety, said City Manager Jim Palenick. Middletown City Council will consider the city’s entire budget at its Nov. 3 meeting with an anticipated approval at its Nov. 17 meeting.

Palenick presented his first public safety budget to Middletown City Council on Tuesday, and it will see a 3% reduction, or about $714,723, in 2021. The 2021 proposed public safety budget was listed at $23.12 million.

Of that amount, the Division of Police will see a 2021 budget of $13.25 million, which will be a 1.7% decrease from the $13.48 million budgeted for 2020.

The Division of Fire will see a 2021 budget of $9.87 million, which will be down 4.7% from the 2020 budget of $10.35 million.

Police officials said their major initiatives include reorganizing the police administration, seeking to reduce use-of-force situations and citizen complaints against officers and exploring identification as a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area for increased state and federal funding for narcotics operations.

Officials said the fire department plans to focus on stabilizing staff, reducing opioid overdoses by 10% in cooperation with other organizations, adopting fees for some services, implementing a radio replacement program and developing a facility plan that includes four new fire stations.

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