Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins says more police officers will soon be hitting the streetsâ??literally.
At a Thursday night meeting with the One Village Council, a north Toledo neighborhood organization, Mayor Collins told residents more police officers will start patrolling outside of their cars and walk along city streets. The mayor says the street patrols will be possible with the addition of the 68 recent graduates of the Toledo Police Academy, who are currently completing on the job training. Mayor Collins says itâ??s important for police to have more interaction with the community.
â??"We can no longer have police officers that don't have an affinity for the neighborhoods they work in. They have to be part of the neighborhood, they have to take responsibility for the neighborhood, and they have to be able to communicate in the neighborhood."
The One Village Council expressed other concerns with the mayor. They asked him about the progress of alley cleaning and landscaping projects. They mayor said he was in the process of gathering information from the appropriate city departments, and urged residents to also talk with their councilman. Residents also expressed concern about abandoned and blighted houses. While the mayor sympathized with their concerns, he said he doesnâ??t have the power to go in and force property owners or banks to keep up their property. Mayor Collins said that power resides with the municipal courts, and told the One Village Council to bring their concerns to judges, who Collins reminded are also publicly elected officials.
The other big concern from residents was a scheduled three year construction project at the Joe E Brown Park that they want halted until more local contractors and workers were hired. Mayor Collins said that is not going to happen, but said he would try to do everything in his power to use local workers on city projects.