Cincinnati Police Chief Expresses Concern Over Staffing Levels

Aug 5, 2019

Right now Cincinnati has 1,032 police officers. That's 25 less than the department's authorized number of 1,057.  

Police Chief Eliot Isaac addressed a council committee Monday about staffing numbers. He said he's not asking to increase the authorized compliment.

"I just want to be clear that all I've asked for is to maintain our compliment that we've been authorized, not to fall below that, and to keep up with attrition," Isaac said. "I'm not asking you to increase the compliment, I'm asking to maintain our numbers and give attention to attrition."

Council Member Greg Landsman said he supports additional recruit classes to maintain staffing. But he's also concerned about the number of officers who are actually patrolling city neighborhoods.

"How do we get a sense of our current patrol situation?" Landsman said. "How many officers are on patrol per shift per hour on average, and what else can we do to dramatically increase that?"

Isaac responded that 704 police officers are assigned to the five police districts and the Central Business District. Another 105 are in units that can respond citywide.

"That's 809 of our 1,032 officers, that's 78% of the department that is assigned to the patrol function," Isaac said. "I mean, that's nearly 80%. I will put that against any national standard of the officers that we have assigned."

A new recruit training class is expected to begin in December.  

Each year the department loses between 30 to 40 officers because of retirement and other reasons.