CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 I TEAM has found the condition of Cleveland police cars has become so poor, sometimes officers are forced to sit at police stations waiting for working patrol cars before they hit your streets.
And this summer, the I TEAM revealed the condition of Cleveland ambulances had become so poor, paramedics were forced to go to some calls in SUVs.
Those kinds of concerns led council members at a hearing Wednesday to grill city leaders about the conditions of city emergency vehicles. Councilman Zack Reed challenged the fire chief about aerial ladder trucks with ladders that can’t rise to fight a fire at a high-rise.
A city document shows over the last year, nearly 40% of Cleveland Police cars were in poor condition and 30-50% of city ambulances also were in poor condition.
Members of the mayor’s administration pointed out, the city has been ordering new fire trucks, ambulances, and 60 police cars. Some of those vehicles came in this year, and some will arrive next year.
But union leaders argue that’s not enough soon enough.
In fact, the I TEAM has learned, at times, so many police cars need to be repaired that police on one shift can’t go out to answer calls until officers from the previous shift come back. The chief’s office has acknowledged this can happen while saying it doesn’t affect response time. However, we’re told recently this problem led to dozens of calls getting backed up with citizens kept waiting.
Councilman Brian Kazy said, “The last thing we would want to see is somebody hurt because we have a broken piece of equipment.”
Council members had so many questions about EMS and fire and animal control vehicles, they said they’d have to hold another hearing to discuss the police cars.