Columbus police recruits jobs saved by the stimulus plan
27 Police recruits are back on the job for the City of Columbus. Mayor Michael Coleman made the announcement this morning, "They were scheduled to be laid off Friday because of the stimulus package, because of President Obama and the Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department, these recruits will now be police officers." About a month ago the recruits had received a layoff notice that would have gone into affect on Friday. Instead the city has money from the recently signed federal stimulus package in order to pay the recruits salaries through the end of the year. Here's Columbus Public Safety Director Mitchell Brown. "It's important to note that we have 1.25 million dollars coming to us specifically so that this class will begin and will initiate some additional training. They won't be on the streets immediately. They're going to come back, spend some time here at the academy and then subsequently they will have a graduation ceremony like all graduating classes."
Police recruit William Scott says he never thought that he would benefit directly from the stimulus plan. "We prayed about it and then hearing President Obama mention, you know, Columbus and our recruit class, that was very encouraging. So, it was very hopeful and when he signed that bill and mentioned us, it was a lot of encouragement."
Just prior to signing the stimulus plan last week, the president mentioned the bill would prevent layoffs like the situation here in Columbus.
It will still be a few weeks before the new recruits are on the street. They will receive some refresher training before they officially graduate and receive their badges.