Police are there to serve and protect, but in Youngstown, the number of officers hitting the street is down and so are the number of every-day traffic stops.

"When we're filling shifts in with overtime, how active are you going to be that second eight hours?" said Police Chief Robin Lees.

The chief told council members the reason traffic stops are down varies. One variable is that the number of officers is down about a dozen from a year ago.

Also, the chief said those officers that leave, typically for a higher paying city or jurisdiction, tend to be the most proactive.

"What I can tell you, just as a casual observation, that when these other agencies are coming in and looking for other officers, they're frequently taking some of the higher-performing officers," said Lees.

And while traffic stops are down, the number of calls for service remain about the same and officers are forced to prioritize.

Councilwoman Anita Davis asked the chief if the number of officers on the road affects the number of homicides.

"I would say in extremes, certainly. Because there's a certain level of visibility that will affect any crime," said Lees.

But he went on to say, in his experience, the one thing that makes a difference is the number of arrests.

"In my experience, I've only seen one thing that directly impacts homicides, and there was a time we could draw a graph that
paralleled it, and that's the number of people we put in jail," explained Lees.