Complaints Over East Cleveland Police Cuts

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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Residents of East Cleveland spoke out about massive budget cuts in their city, Wednesday night. 

The police department will lose ten officers and ten support staff members. 

Residents are concerned about their safety and some are questioning if the million dollar cut in the police budget is necessary.

Resident Gerald Strothers told Fox 8 News before a town hall meeting, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore is our theme for the week. And we are saying to the mayor and everybody, show us the money.  We've got to find out where the money is."  He questioned whether city leaders are being open about the budget situation.

Citizen Sandra Heath predicted the city will find a way to survive.  "We roll with the punches in East Cleveland. We've had a lot of big changes and serious changes and you can only do so much when the money isn't there," she said.

Mayor Gary Norton, Jr. indicated that police cuts could affect other city services.  He said police-generated revenue from things like tickets would be lost.  "This might affect our service department. This might affect senior services. This might affect parks and recreation if we lose $700,000 that the police bring in," he added.

He does not believe the cuts are needed and is calling on city council to rescind the council. 

Council members in the past have said there are no other options.