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Mayor, Chief Speak Out on Kitten Shootings

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio -- For the first time since a North Ridgeville humane officer shot five feral kittens on Tuesday, the mayor and police chief speak out.

Chief Mike Freeman said Friday he has spent most of this week looking into the actions of humane officer Barry Accorti. Accorti shot the kittens after a resident contacted police and asked that they be removed from her backyard.

Many local animal rights groups have expressed outrage and said they want Accorti disciplined and criminally charged.

“What we are looking to do is use this as an educational moment to step back and look at policy, possibly purchase different equipment, and reach out to animal organizations that deal with this on a daily basis,” Freeman said.

No charges have been filed, and Accorti is still working, not facing any disciplinary charges.

But Mayor David Gillock said officials are taking the matter seriously.

“Well, we continue to look into the situation,” Gillock said. “The chief has reached out to other organizations, and we are looking at what alternatives might be implemented and how we can address it.”

Since the incident happened, the police department and city hall received hundreds of emails and telephone calls, and most have been negative.

Accorti is a retired North Ridgeville police officer.

His personnel file is filled with letters of appreciation and numerous awards. He was even recognized for helping rescue an owl a few years ago.

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