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Columbus Police Recruits are Laid Off Before Being Sworn In

27 Columbus police academy recruits were told they would be laid off Tuesday; three days before their scheduled graduation. City officials said the lay-offs were due to budget reasons.

Deputy Chief Walter Distelzweig says he met with the recruits Tuesday afternoon.

"Director Brown and myself issued the 27 members of the 114th recruit class their lay off notice that would be effective in 30 days."

The layoffs were made, Distelzweig said because of the current city budget shortfall

"With the budget issue with the city, it's an economic issue that just sort of cropped up here over the last few weeks with the $13 million deficit that Mr. Dorian projects. And this was one of the economic considerations which was made."

Hugh Dorian is the city auditor.

The recruits had been training at the city's police academy for six months. In a written statement Mayor Coleman said it was difficult to lay off any employees and even more so to lose committed police recruits.

The recruits will finish their program and receive 30 days employment with full benefits and pay as non-sworn employees. Officials say that will give them time to look for work.