I-Team: Homicides Creating ‘War Zone’
CLEVELAND — It’s been a busy nine months for Cleveland homicide detectives. So far this year, the city has investigated 68 murders, ten more than this time last year.
“It’s not kinda like a war zone, it is a war zone,” said Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed. “There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. In certain neighborhoods, people are almost fearful to go out in that community.”
And many living near the Fourth District Police Station, located in the 9000 block of Kinsman Road, agree.
That includes Fred Tucker, 20, who moved there about a year ago, and said in the last 12 months he has seen his share of violence.
“I’ve been seeing a whole lot of cops, gangs, as far as shooting-wise and stuff,” Tucker said from his front porch. “I have seen a whole lot, a whole lot.”
Marver Snoody concurred, saying she gets all her errands done during the day because she believes it is too dangerous to go out at night.
“It’s really bad,” Snoody said. “They need to do something about the situation.”
Councilman Reed said he believes city officials need to begin having discussions to find a way to reduce the number of deadly shootings.
According to police and city officials, crime in the downtown area is down because there are more police assigned to the area, and they would like more officers in the neighborhoods.
“Why can’t we protect more?” Reed asked. “Why can’t we put the technology and the boots on the ground in neighborhoods where people live here 365 days a year?”
A police union official said he believes more officers should be hired.
“There is a decrease of officers on the street because of state and city budget cuts,” said Jeff Follmer, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President. “It’s a decrease in cars out in the neighborhoods, it is an officer safety concern, and concerns for the citizens. The City of Cleveland is getting busy and we need more officers on the streets.”