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December 16, 2011
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Ohio city manager defends 'fun' video shot amid police layoffs

Middletown City Manager Judy Gilleland said the town needed a laugh after a tense time

By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A city manager is defending her choice to shoot a holiday-themed video after recently cutting nine firefighters and seven cops and closing a fire station for budget reasons.

"I know if I was laid off, and then I saw my bosses prancing around in a goofy video, I'd be a little upset," Middletown Firefighters Local 336 President Jon Harvey told the Middletown Journal. "I've gotten a lot of phone calls, that’s for sure."

But City Manager Judy Gilleland said the town needed a laugh after a tense time of budget cuts and debates.

"I feel like the holiday video was done very appropriately and for the right reason," she said. "It was to bring some joy to an otherwise dreary year."

The 8-minute video cost $200 to produce, and Gilleland said she has received calls in support of the video, some offering to pay the cost for next year's video, according to the article.

"It's been a very difficult budget year here in Middletown," she said. "We've experienced a reduction of 27 positions — six of which were fire positions."

"We have about 350 city employees here whose moral we have to keep moving in a positive direction so they can be reminded of why we’re here and why we’re doing the jobs we're doing."

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