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Cities Vie for Officers Cleveland PD To Lay Off

December 12, 2003  | 

Police departments across the country are interviewing officers set to be laid off from the Cleveland Police Department due to budget cuts.

Recruiters from the Atlanta and Anchorage police departments are scheduled to conduct interviews with Cleveland officers. Cincinnati PD has already interviewed potential lateral transfers. Others might soon follow.

“Law enforcement is a very competitive market,” New Orleans Police Captain Marlon Defillo says. “Many departments across the country are looking for qualified candidates.”

In 2004, the New Orleans department wants to add 200 officers to its force and hire another 175 to replace those soon to retire. Cleveland seems like a good bet because the two cities are roughly the same size in terms of population and the officers leaving there have already been trained.

And hiring officers who have already been through the rigors of training is easier and much cheaper than putting potential hires through the academy.

Recruiting and training an officer typically costs $57,000 to $80,000, says Elaine Deck of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Not having to make this investment save for a shortened training course and, more importantly, knowing that a potential hire is already committed to staying in law enforcement are big selling points for officers transferring from other departments.

Anchorage PD Police Sgt. Mike Couturier booked a flight to Cleveland after getting e-mails from Cleveland police officers asking about job opportunities in Alaska.

“They’re young, they’re very fit, they’re enthusiastic about their careers,” Couturier says. “Plus they’ve been through an extensive academy. I didn’t need to know anything else; I got on the plane.”

The Cleveland Police Academy is one of the longest at 22 weeks. Cleveland Police Chief Ed Lohn says the Academy is the best it has ever been. And all Cleveland officers receive ongoing training in areas like human relations and constitutional law. But all that could change with the impending cuts, which include laying off one of the academy instructors, a police officer and attorney.

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