Previously aired video above: Cleveland police short hundreds of officers amid hiring delays

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team found Cleveland City Hall has now received proposals from marketing firms interested in helping to recruit more police officers.

Oddly, we had filed a records request asking for those proposals, and we were told “there are no records.”

But, the mayor’s office later sent a statement saying, in part, “There were 7 bids that are now being reviewed…”

The law department then wrote to us saying the city does not have to release these proposals when they are under review.

Cleveland police now protect your streets with a force that is more than 300 officers short. And, that number keeps dropping.

In fact, just last month, records show 15 more officers left the Cleveland Police Department, and ten of them resigned. Traditionally, most officers retire when they leave the force.

The I-Team revealed last August, the city planned to hire an outside firm for a marketing campaign to recruit officers.

Yet, the city didn’t make any effort to start looking for a marketing firm until December.

Police departments nationwide have struggled to recruit new officers.

And, the proposed new budget from Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, simply, cuts out 142 police positions to help balance the budget. That is, the city won’t even try to fill all of the open positions on the police force.