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Changing of the Guard
September 6, 2011 - Joe Gorman
Expect more officers on the street under new Youngstown police Chief Rod Foley.
Foley is beginning his first full week of chief today, replacing former Chief Jimmy Hughes, who retired last week after 35 years of service.
Foley said his top priority is to increase officers on the street, either through hiring or by reassigning some officers from other divisions in the department back to patrol.
At one time last decade the department had over 220 officers, but several who have retired were not replaced. Besides the shortage on patrol, there are also shortages in the Detective Bureau, where a large number of retirements have left them scrambling to keep up with investigations.
One thing Foley has said is that he wants to make sure investigations continue, so if no new members will not be hired, they should not lose any more to patrol duty.
Foley came up through the ranks, as did Hughes, but during different times. Foley said his philosophy is based on community policing, which was popular in the 1990s and emphasizes high visibility and interaction between officers and residents.
When you get down to the heart of the matter, the main function of police is to be seen, to be a deterent, so it appears that Foley wants to return to the basics. Here's hoping that will help to continue the downward trend in the city's crime rate that was experienced during the last two years Hughes was on the job.
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