CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police could secure an extra $250,000 to buy overtime for officers from City Council Wednesday.
Several members expect the full council to approve appropriating the funds through the end of the current fiscal year in June.
"Last year we allocated a million," Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney said after the meeting. "So, I'm really happy that we only need $250,000. Now, the chief said if they need more (money) they'll come back to us, which is normal, but my hope is that that's sufficient."
Members of the Public Safety and Government Committee listened to interim Police Chief Teresa Theetge explain her Summer Safety Plan.
"What can we do as council members to be supportive?" council member Liz Keating asked during the meeting Tuesday.
Committee chair Scotty Johnson, a former police officer, told the chief council will help at almost all costs.
"I may get in trouble with this but you know I'm used to trouble, good trouble," he said. "I want (Chief Theetge) to have everything (she needs) to make sure that we stay one of the safest cities in this country. I know funding is an issue, but I am saying to you I don't want you to have to worry about the $250,000. If more is needed that we stay a safe city then we (have) to find a way to make sure that happens."
Theetge's plan to squash violence involves commanders at all six police districts using data to drive extra manpower toward hotspots. Already, crime complaints steered extra District 2 patrols near Montgomery Road and Woodburn Avenue in Evanston.
"The hardest-hit areas will see an increased presence in uniformed officers," Theetge said. "However, there will also be officers out there that they do not see."
Theetge told WCPO 9 News she does not anticipate further funding requests this fiscal year unless the city has another Smale Park-level shooting. In that case last July 4, gunfire killed two teens and three others along the riverfront.
Still, Johnson all but promised to deliver if asked to spend more.
"If we want a safe city, we gotta be willing to dig in those coffers, do some adjusting so the amount of money necessary for the police to do what they do is there," Johnson said.
Other parts of Theetge's plan include better community engagement with community councils and residents regularly talking with officers about hotspots and getting youth in camps to keep them out of trouble. It could lead to better relationships and more tips, as well as keep CPD's budget in line, Theetge said.
'I don't want to lose my life at a young age': Program teaches Cincinnati teens gun safety
Police: 30 Cincinnati neighborhoods see significant increase in thefts from vehicles