Latest RISE Effort Will Increase the Maximum Age from 40 to 55 to Help Address Staffing Shortage
Mayor Justin M. Bibb is proposing an amendment to a city ordinance that will raise the maximum age for cadets to be appointed to the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) to 55 years old. The proposal, if passed, would amend an ordinance passed in September 2012 that capped the age at 40.
“Solving multilayered problems requires multipronged approaches, which involves historic investments, leveraging partnerships, and updating policy – all key components of my RISE Initiative announced less than four months ago,” said Mayor Bibb. “This latest amendment will help attract additional candidates to join our police force who may have previously not considered doing so. We’re hopeful this change, combined with other recent actions my Administration has taken, will help improve our overall recruitment efforts within our Division of Police.”
The Bibb Administration has increased pay up to 25% for police officers since taking office. Last month, the Administration announced the largest increase in the city’s history, making CDP’s top patrol officers the highest paid among the largest cities in the state. Earlier this summer, at the City’s first-ever Public Safety Summit, Mayor Bibb announced a major commitment targeting cadets – increasing their pay by 50%, offering up to a $5,000 sign-on bonus, reimbursement for prior OPOTA certification, and marked improvements for those entering the force with a college degree or military experience. The City’s Department of Public Safety saw an extraordinary surge in 3rd Quarter applications with more than a 45% increase in volume since that announcement.
Similar efforts to increase the age limit of applicants are being explored by agencies like the New York State Police, in other states like Texas, and in the military – where the Air Force increased its age limit to 42 just two weeks ago.
“We remain committed to attracting the best candidates to join our ranks and this proposal supports our vision to continue to evolve as a progressive police agency,” said CDP Chief Wayne Drummond. “This will allow us to reach more individuals who are interested and capable of serving our community. We’re grateful to Mayor Bibb, as well as City Council, for their support in making progress in our recruitment efforts.”
Today’s announcement is the latest component of Mayor Bibb’s RISE Initiative announced this summer to combat high levels of crime and address CDP staffing shortages that are reflective of police departments across the nation.
Other recent RISE efforts led by the Bibb Administration include expanding the City’s SAFE SMART CLE camera sharing program, expanding ShotSpotter technology to all five police districts, a new partnership with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department to enhance safety downtown, and expanded partnerships with both the Ohio State Highway Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service for additional resources and personnel towards targeted hotspots and coordinated violence reduction tactics. These strategic efforts have produced tangible results including hundreds of arrests, hundreds of gun seizures, hundreds of dangerous pills and other drug seizures, dozens of stolen vehicle recoveries, and several lives being saved. The number of registered cameras has also seen a tremendous increase by more than 850% under RISE, and the Administration continues to urge residents and businesses to sign up.
The proposed amendment was submitted to City Council for introduction at tonight’s council meeting and, if approved, will become effective immediately.
Those interested in becoming a police officer with the Cleveland Division of Police can apply online.