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Published: Thursday, 7/9/2009

Toledo leaders learn grant money in jeopardy for hiring police

BLADE STAFF

The city of Toledo has learned that it will receive at most enough federal money to pay for 31 police officers, not 150 officers, as it requested.

The city applied in March to receive nearly $34.6 million over three years from the COPS Hiring Recovery Program. That could allow the city to bring back the 75 officers laid off May 1 and hire an additional 75 officers.

"Certainly we re disappointed," Police Chief Michael Navarre said.

Vice President Joe Biden has been asked to intervene.

In a letter to the vice president, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, Chief Navarre, and Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman s Association, urged Mr. Biden to assist them.

The letter, on Miss Kaptur s letterhead and signed by the quartet, was hand delivered Thursday to the staff of Mr. Biden by Mayor Finkbeiner.

The city will not get final word on the size of the grant until Aug. 1. Chief Navarre said he learned from the Justice Department last month that the maximum granted would be enough to fund 31 officers. But the city has not been assured it will get anything, he said.

The city on July 1 hired back 29 of the laid-officer officers, using money from the Ohio attorney general and a federal grant. But that funding ends Dec. 31.



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