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Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

Konop calls for sheriff's department to aid city after 150 police are laid off

Ben Konop Ben Konop

The Lucas County Sheriff's Department should step in and fill some of the gaps when 150 Toledo police are laid off Friday, according to county Commissioner Ben Konop.

Mr. Konop Thursday said he has asked Sheriff James Telb to "find a cost-effective way to assist [the Toledo Police Department] in this time of economic crisis." Lucas County Jail Administrator Jim O'Neal said the sheriff and Mr. Konop will discuss the plan.

"We're very limited in our people too," Mr. O'Neal said. Mr. Konop, a Democratic candidate for mayor of Toledo, said Toledo and Lucas County should follow the model offered by the sheriff of Cuyahoga County who has agreed to help the Cleveland Police Department by patrolling the Cleveland downtown this summer.

"This is all about keeping our people safe. And a safer Toledo means a safer Lucas County," Mr. Konop said.

Toledo property owners pay real estate taxes that help pay for sheriff department expenses.

Mayor Finkbeiner's administration has issued layoff notices to 150 officers - 130 patrolmen and 20 command officers, about a quarter of the force - to take effect at the end of their shifts Friday.

Police Chief Mike Navarre has submitted a plan to the mayor to move 75 desk officers back to street duty, gutting the gang task force, and severely reducing the detective bureau and SWAT units.

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