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Published: Wednesday, 8/15/2007

Finkbeiner is assailed on crime comparison

A retired Toledo police officer who is running for city council yesterday blasted Mayor Carty Finkbeiner over his comparison of murder rates in Toledo and Perrysburg Township.

"His lack of human empathy and the alienation of our neighbors are unacceptable," said D. Michael Collins, a police officer from 1973 to 1999 who is running as an independent in District 2.

Mr. Finkbeiner on Monday said it was politically easy for politicians to demand additional police hiring while overlooking what he said is Toledo's low crime rate, compared with other communities.

While citing large cities as well, the mayor remarked that Toledo, with a population of about 300,000, has had only six murders so far this year, while much smaller Perrysburg Township has had two.

The two homicides occurred last Wednesday at a Perrysburg Township trucking business.

Mr. Collins took issue with Mr. Finkbeiner's suggestion that the city has an adequate number of police officers.

He said there aren't enough officers on duty to respond to the average of 1,600 calls for service per day.

Mr. Finkbeiner's spokesman, Brian Schwartz, said the mayor agrees that more police officers are needed, but was pointing out the city's budget constraints.

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