During a press conference with city leaders, Chief Drummond fielded questions from reporters and spoke on many issues including his priorities as chief, the current pressures on police policy nationwide, and efforts to recruit and retain officers in the city.
“It’s no secret we have lost officers,” said Drummond.
Mayor Bibb spoke on a tentative contract with the police union that would include an 11% raise over three years. He called the move a “step in the right direction.”
“We will not solve this problem in one contract. We are being fiscally responsible for the long term pathway to have a structurally balanced budget so we can invest long term in recruiting and attracting and retaining good law enforcement officers,” said Bibb.
Drummond also noted changes in policy that allow officers to wear ball caps, as well as have tattoos and beards.
“That’s important for officers when you look around the United States,” said Drummond.
Drummond also spoke on officer accountability. This comes as there has been a nationwide push for changes in police policy, and a recent police-involved shooting in nearby Akron where 25-year-old Jayland Walker was killed.
“We hold our officers accountable, if they are doing the wrong thing, we hold them accountable,” said Drummond. “But when officers are doing the right thing, we support them, and the vast majority of officers are doing the right thing.”
Drummond said a top priority remains to target “trigger pullers,” focus on crime hot spots in the city, and partner with the federal government to get criminals off the streets.
“We would like to get them into the federal system, longer sentences and so forth, so they are out of our communities even longer,” said Drummond.
Drummond has been in law enforcement for 33 years.
Previous Police Chief Calvin Williams stepped down last year following the announcement that former Mayor Frank Jackson would not seek a fifth term.