Monday, May 11, 2009

Toledo lays off police officers, suspects could walk free

From Buckeye Firearms Association, on the recent layoffs of 75 police officers due to that city's budget problems:
When word of significant cuts to the Toledo police force first came out, one senior police officer issued the following recommendation to city residents:
"Buy guns. Invest in precious metals: lead, gun power and brass."

And now, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is admitting the reason why this is such good advice:
"Violent crimes, shootings, are not ever prevented by the presence of a police officer, no matter how many thousands of police officers you have."

Saturday, May 2 marked the first full day since 75 Toledo police officers turned in their badges and guns, and according to the Toledo Blade, word of the significant cuts in the Toledo police force is on the street.

"There ain't a side of Toledo you can go where they do not know the police is going to be laid off," one resident is quoted as saying. ...

Read the rest here.

One consequence of the layoffs is that suspects arrested by the laid off officers could walk free, in the event that the arresting officer(s) are the only witnesses in those cases:
Some accused criminals arrested by the 75 Toledo police officers who were laid off last week could get a free pass on facing charges unless there is a victim to testify in their cases.

Toledo Municipal Court presiding Judge Tim Kuhlman said yesterday that the court's seven judges have been forced to dismiss both misdemeanor and felony cases when the city can't produce the officer - who, in some cases, would be the only witness.

"We are pretty much dismissing all of the cases when the officer has been laid off and the city can't go forward because their witness is not there," Judge Kuhlman said. "I can't give you numbers, but it's probably equal to the same percentage of the [police department] who were laid off."

The charges range from misdemeanor traffic offenses to felony drug cases, the judge said. ...

We'll probably start seeing more situations like this around the country, as cities, towns, and county governments face looming budget shortfalls. Indeed, as previously reported (see my post here), one California county has publicly stated that they will no longer be prosecuting misdemeanor assaults, thefts, and a host of other misdemeanor crimes, in addition to no longer prosecuting certain drug felonies.

No comments: