CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained dispatch recordings showing no Cleveland police cars were available when a man called 9-1-1 after finding a man dead, shot in the head. And this call puts a spotlight on a chronic problem of not enough officers on your streets.
The call for the man found dead happened in December near 113th and Union. Carlos Conliffe called 9-1-1. But the I TEAM found, from the moment he called until the moment police got there, nearly 12 minutes had passed.
Conliffe told FOX 8, “Yeah, that should be like a priority call. Priority call, be on scene. Dead body on the side of the house in that neighborhood, kids running around, don't want nobody to see that.“
A police radio recording shows when the call for that dead body came in, all patrol cars in that part of town were tied up.
And we’ve seen this problem before. Not long ago, we showed you, Cleveland Police also had no one to respond to a shootout in the streets.
The city is promising more protection on your streets, in part, because the city will have more money from a tax increase. The city says it plans to hire 93 people in the police department -- officers and dispatchers. But the I TEAM found, last year, city records show 99 people left the department.
Last week, Mayor Frank Jackson told us, the city wants to increase the number of cops on the streets, not just replace the officers leaving the force. But that’s likely to take a series of police academy classes over the course of the year. The Mayor said, "You gotta not only make up for the attrition, you gotta increase." But he added, "With police, just like fire and EMS, you can't just have, ‘I'm gonna hire this person’, ‘I'm gonna hire that person’. No.”
Meantime, Cleveland Police Union President Steve Loomis does not expect the city to meet its police hiring goals. Loomis says the city is so far behind in staffing levels, it’s “logistically impossible” to catch up quickly due to background checks and training required for officers.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner identified the man found shot to death on East 113th as Calvin Burks, 28, of Cleveland Hts.
A Cleveland Police report shows the case is still unsolved.