Ga. governor plans to boost officer pay

By Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould Sheinin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal proposed Thursday a 20 percent pay increase for state law enforcement officers and an overhaul …

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Specialized officers put on patrol as shootings continue to

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) — Cincinnati’s police chief assigned more cops to the streets as shootings continued to spike. With shootings up some 32 percent in Cincinnati so far in 2015, police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell was moving some police officers out of specialized units and into patrol. He was also defending his efforts after criticism from city council. People may remember back in June when the chief’s summer-safety plan was unveiled. For a variety of reasons (the death of Sonny Kim, union opposition to some scheduling changes) parts of the plan such as tougher enforcement of the teen curfew never happened. Although the chief said much of the plan was implemented. With public safety the biggest part of Cincinnati’s budget, there were questions Monday, August 31, on what taxpayers were getting for their money. Chief Jeffrey Blackwell defended his administration as members of city council’s law committee questioned staffing, spending, and safety. The chief said overtime expenditures were actually down nearly two percent in 2015 and said overtime accumulated by some of his aides were not out of line. Talking with reporters, the chief dismissed criticism of him by police union president Kathy Harrell, saying he has his job, she has hers. I don’t think that most chief and the FOP president have tea together. I didn’t come here to necessarily be in that situation. I came here to run this agency in the most efficient and effective manner possible, we are doing very wonderful things and it’s not about me, it’s about we. The chief said 24 officers were being moved from specialized units to street patrol to help combat the increase in shootings. There were 316 so far in 2015, including homicides; 239 in 2014 during the same period, and 299 the year before. Chief Blackwell also defended programs like his youth basketball initiative saying the kids have character and leadership training in addition to sports with a benefit of engaging youth for a long-term crime solution. You put your money where your mouth is. If you want to walk the walk you put money into the programs you believe will transform the city. And Im not too concerned always about crime and criminality that I forget about life and livability, said Blackwell. The chief said despite the increase in shootings, homicides were down two percent. City council members also learned that body cameras for patrol officers may be here by spring 2016. There were several issues still to be ironed out like what type to buy, how and where to store all the video, and how to handle open records requests. Follow Jeff Hirsh on Twitter @local12jeff and LIKE him on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!
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Ga. governor plans to boost officer pay

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