CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Police Department is so short-staffed, that some officers' July Fourth vacation days were canceled, a source confirmed to News 5 Thursday.
Interim Police Chief Wayne Drummond is trying to work out a solution for officers who will be forced to work on the busy holiday, the source confirmed to News 5 Investigator Sarah Buduson.
This development comes after the third part of Buduson’s three-part investigative series, “Dangerously Understaffed,” which found, among other things, that 25% of the Cleveland Police force has left the job since the beginning of the pandemic.
Of the 404 CPD officers who left since Feb. 2020, At least 42 of them went to other departments, and were likely paid more when they did so – we found that the Cleveland Police Department has among the lowest starting salaries for officers.
So what's the city doing to recruit and retain police officers?
Mayor Justin Bibb has declined our interview requests. His spokesperson said he's currently in the middle of contract negotiations with the city's police union.
But during a news conference earlier this year, he admitted pay is an issue.
“We are working as quickly as we can to be a good-faith partner with our police union to make sure we can address the issues that we know are important to have a competitive and attractive environment,” Bibb said.
As for more details on how Cleveland plans to handle their short-staffed police force during the busy July Fourth holiday and weekend, we reached out to city officials but had not heard back as of Thursday evening.
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