Willowick police chief, Cleveland councilman face off in war of words over cruiser into home

CLEVELAND -- The cleanup continues inside a Cleveland home after a Willowick police cruiser slammed into it overnight Sunday during a high speed chase.

Wednesday, Ward 8 Councilman Mike Polesnek wrote a letter to city’s safety director,  expressing his ongoing concern about police chases from Lake County coming into Cleveland. He asked for some sort of protocol or guidelines to be set up for outside police agencies coming into Cleveland.

Hours later the Willowick Police chief responded in his own letter, reading in part,

“This is nothing more than political grandstanding and a pathetic attempt by an irrelevant person to get his name out in the public again. If this individual truly cared about what is going on in the area, he would have reached out to local law enforcement and requested a meeting to offer ideas and insights into the real problem. Instead, he has the audacity to attack law enforcement, the very men and women putting their lives on the line, for the actions of violent thugs. Police pursuits are a very serious matter and his suggestion that police officers somehow are to blame is incredible.”

“I can assure you if the tables were reversed and it was CPD hitting a house in Willowick, it would be a hell of a different story. We all know it. Let’s not kid anyone. Because it’s in the city of Cleveland, who cares,” said Polensek.

Polensek says suspects running from police often drive off I-90 in Cleveland’s Waterloo and Collinwood neighborhoods to escape.

“At the same time, the bad guys got away, which is even more insulting to all of us. Where is the coordinated effort in the pursuits and chases and our local police departments?” said Polensek.

Polensek says he has raised this issue multiple times over the past decade.

He wants the city of Willowick to pay for the damages to the home.

Chief Turner declined to go on camera but says his offer to meet with Polensek still stands.

He says that speaks more than a war of words between a chief of police and councilman from different cities, different counties.

Continuing coverage here.