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Columbus Mayor Announces Two More Police and Fire Classes

The Divisions of Columbus Police and Fire can expect more support next summer. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman announced two additional recruit classes that will begin later this year. But WOSU reports new recruits do not mean more personnel on the streets.

Next year, Columbus Police and Fire each will get 50 more officers and firefighters.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said the city has worked two new recruit classes into the 2011 budget. The classes are expected to begin in December with expected graduation dates in the summer.

The new recruits, though, will not add more police officers and firefighters to the streets. They'll offset some of the personnel expected to begin retiring in 2011 because of the Deferred Retirement Option Plan - or DROP.

Coleman said there will be a temporary gap as personnel retire and new recruits graduate.

"Our goal is to keep the level of patrol at about the same level that they've always been through some reorganization at the department and firefighters there will be more overtime," he said.

There likely will be announcements of more police and fire classes, Coleman said, for next year. But how many and when they would start has not been determined.

Next year, Columbus Police and Fire together will lose 141 personnel. About half will have to retire by January.

Columbus Police graduated 50 recruits a few weeks ago. And a fire recruit class is expected to graduate in January.