Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cincinnati drug sweeps net 1080, cost $90,000 in overtime

The police in Cincinnati have completed a six week operation using 42 police officers to sweep drug selling locations to fight crime in the notorious Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, reports the Cincinatti Enquirer. The police report that they spent about $90,000 in overtime, and arrested 1080 persons. For the 42 officers involved, that averages $2143 each over the six weeks. Lt. Col. Richard Janke "said the operation was an unqualified success," according to the Enquirer. For that kind of overtime, I should say so. But what a bargain -- each arrest only cost $83.33 each in overtime.

There is another $700,000 available in grant money and the police are going to start spending it next month, Janke said.

Do you think the police or the Enquirer will report on the fiscal impact on the prosecutor's office, the public defender's office, the courts, and the probation and parole offices to process this flood of cases?
How many of the 1080 arrestees are innocent?
How many of the 1080 arrestees are problematic drug users?
How many of them will get drug treatment, effective drug treatment that lasts longer than a three-day detox?
How much taxpayer money will all of these cheap arrests end up costing?

Many in the neighborhood are certainly happy with these arrests.
How long will the increased public order last?
Is there money for recreation for youth and young adults in the community this summer?

Compared to other programs, it is often easy to get money for police operations. The real test of police effectiveness cannot be measured in a matter of weeks. But one thing is pretty likely, if you ask the guy who just pocketed $2000 plus in overtime for the last six weeks -- and whose looking at a whole lot more in coming months -- was the project was a success, chances are he'll be pretty enthusiastic.

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