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Dan Joffman To Lead Police Levy Renewal Effort

July 24, 2012

Contact: Jeannie Roberts
(440) 885-8181 or (216) 346-9935

PARMA, Ohio -- Former Parma Police Chief Dan Hoffman will head the campaign to pass a renewal of Parma’s 2-mill police levy in November. Hoffman was on the Parma Police force for 32 years and was Chief of Police for seven years, until he retired in 2011.

“I am very proud to be part of this effort,” Hoffman said. “I can recall the hardship on the city when we did not have a police levy to assist in keeping adequate staffing of personnel, maintenance and replacement of equipment, and training of our personnel. This translated to the fact that we could not provide the best service possible to our community or maintain the quality of life that our citizens expected.”

Mayor Tim DeGeeter is squarely behind the renewal effort because he knows what it takes to run a department the size of Parma’s. “Keeping a safe community is Priority One, and our officers put themselves out there every day and night to make that happen,” he said. “Some of what the levy pays for is direct safety enhancement and technological advancements to help the crimefighting effort. We want to keep Parma safe, and we need the levy to do it.”

Parma City Council voted 8-0 to place the 2-mill renewal on the ballot; the renewal would continue to pay for much-needed equipment and to help keep Parma at safe staffing levels. The department expects to be at 102 officers soon; the goal of the department is 110 officers. Even at 110, Parma would still be one of the lowest-staffed police departments per capita in Cuyahoga County with 1.34 officers per 1,000 residents.

The current levy costs the owner of a $100,000 house about $70 a year, which translates to about 19 cents per day. Because this is a renewal of that levy, the amount paid by each property owner would not change. The levy has provided $3.5 million for the police department in 2011, $3.2 million in 2010 and $3.8 million in 2009; the department’s total operating budget is $9.2 million.

City Safety Director Greg Baeppler said the city has made very effective use of the funds the levy has provided in the past few years. “The results are clear,” he said. “The K-9 unit has been restored, some equipment has been enhanced and while the staffing levels are still not where we’d like them to be, it is a credit to the department and the citizens that Parma is a safe place to live.”

Parma Police received just over 37,000 calls for service in 2011 and in that year, criminal and traffic enforcement reached an all-time high. -30-