I-Team: Police training academy investigation

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CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has learned Cleveland police are looking into injuries suffered by several Cleveland police recruits during training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.

The highway patrol confirms 6 recruits were taken to the hospital. Officials tells us one of the recruits had a dislocated shoulder, while others were back to duty the same day. Union sources say some of the recruits had concussion symptoms.

The injuries occurred last month during training, teaching officers self-defense and survival.

Cleveland police spokesperson Jennifer Ciaccia said, “Our academy staff is aware of the injuries and they are working with the State Highway Patrol in terms of looking into the incident."

The patrol calls it “dynamic testing” to help officers gain confidence in themselves and arrest techniques. Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Sellers said in a statement, “This is proven training conducted by certified instructors within a controlled environment overseen by medical staff and senior commanders who have the authority to stop the training. Not only are our supervisors present, but there is also a complete medic unit from Columbus Fire and EMS and a staff doctor present as well.”

The patrol also sent the I-Team critiques of the training written by the recruits. Some called it the best training they had. Others said they’d never even been in a fight before.

Nonetheless, the Cleveland police union is concerned, saying more than 20 recruits suffered injuries throughout the State Patrol training overall.

There has been great debate surrounding the sending of Cleveland officers to Columbus for training. The chief and city leaders have spoken of the benefits while union leaders have often spoken of hardships. All of this adds to the discussion.

The patrol points out it provides the training at no charge to the city, and city supervisors could have come down to watch the training in question as it happened.

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