More city union hubbub. This time from the popo:
Lexington Fraternal Order of Police president Mike Sweeney says Mayor Jim Gray’s proposal this week to add more police officers is good, if enough new officers are hired.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Sweeney said Wednesday. “But are they going to just keep manpower at status quo, or are they going to try to increase our authorized strength? I don’t hold out a whole lot of optimism for any large increase.”
The Division of Police said Wednesday that it is ramping up its current officer recruiting drive in the wake of Gray’s comments in his annual budget address on Tuesday. During his address Tuesday, Gray called for two new police recruiting classes and two new training classes for firefighters, in addition to classes already underway.
According to Sweeney, Lexington police had 693 officers on the street in 2007. The city’s crime rate has risen by 21.5 percent since then, as police manpower has declined [to 505], he argued.
San Jose, for example, has 147 officers per 100,000 residents — the lowest among the biggest [California] cities — but also has the least amount of violent crime, with 383 incidents per 100,000 residents. Detroit, on the other hand, has 351 officers per 100,000 residents but also had 2,459 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.