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Published: Thursday, 5/14/2009

Some laid off Toledo police officers seek meeting with mayor, get chief

BLADE STAFF

A dozen laid-off Toledo police officers who showed up in Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's office Thursday morning ended up spending an hour behind closed doors with police Chief Mike Navarre.

Laid-off Patrolman Jessica Meyer, a seven-year veteran of the department and the mother of one child, said they wanted some answers about the city's budget situation.

She said they wanted to meet Mayor Finkbeiner and find out when they'll be called back and what it will take.

"I don't know what to expect. We just want to get our jobs back," Ms. Meyer said. She said her family depended on her salary because her husband is unemployed.

The mayor was at a previously scheduled retreat and did not know the officers were coming in to meet with him, according to Jason Webber, his spokesman.

"But there is no reason why he wouldn't meet with these individuals," he said.

Chief Navarre said he answered a variety of questions, and said he addressed what he said were rumors and false information.

"I have the utmost sympathy for them," the chief said. He said he's confident they'll eventually be called back to work, but said he knows some will take jobs elsewhere to support their families.

Mayor Finkbeiner laid off 75 officers on May 1 because of the city's budget deficit, and has warned that more layoffs could occur if the police officers' union does not accept the wage and benefits concessions he's asking for in collective bargaining.



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