|Steve "Big Loom" Loomis, President Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association|
One of the biggest worries is one-man patrol cars, said Steve Loomis, president of the city's local police union. Under the current contract, Cleveland police officers are required to have at least two officers in a patrol car when driving through certain neighborhoods, Loomis said.
Democrats have 90 days after Kasich signs the bill to gather more than 230,000 valid signatures to get it on the fall ballot. Loomis believes that if Senate Bill 5 goes unchallenged, the two-man rule will be the first thing to go.
'They're going to give up our safety for the illusion that there's more police on the street,' Loomis said. 'That's horrifying. Guys get killed.'
And equipment that police officers say is vital but that the city says is too expensive — like computers in patrol cars, a rarity in Cleveland — will be harder to get without the complete bargaining process, Loomis said.
State lawmakers did make last-minute changes to the measure in the House that allow police and fire officials to bargain for vests, shields and other safety gear."