CLEVELAND- Cleveland police are on high alert after learning of a credible threat to ambush them on the street.
The Cleveland Division of Police isn’t commenting on the situation, but Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said they are taking the information very seriously. He said it involves criminals attempting to provoke officers while riding ATVs and motorcycles.
“The word is on the street that they’re going to kick a door on a policeman’s door and entice them to get into some kind of chase,” Loomis said.
During and/or at the end of the chase, the criminals would then shoot at officers.
Loomis said the threat is the latest in a string of attacks on cops across the country, including a deputy ambushed in Texas, a veteran officer killed in Illinois and Cleveland police were shot at while responding to a call on East 131st Street.
“We’re not going to chase them. We’re not gonna be allowed to chase them and they’re (criminals) running the streets,” Loomis said.
He’s hoping city, county, state and national leaders will begin speaking out against the threats on officers' lives. He said he believes that’s the only way it will stop. He’s also encouraging the public to step up and report this type of activity before more innocent lives are lost.
Loomis points out that of the 400,000 police contacts with citizens last year, less than 1% or 400 resulted in a use of force and of those 300 resulted in a complaint.
Some residents agree and said you can’t dismiss all officers because of the actions of a few including several high-profile cases.
“I’m feeling bad for the cops,” said Bernadette Pace, “because they’re individuals and if we put ourselves in their position, we don’t want someone gunning for us just because we’re wearing a badge.”