CLEVELAND – For months, the Fox 8 I-team has been tackling the subject of 911 response times in Cleveland. At Monday night’s Cleveland city council meeting, some members were demanding answers as it was revealed that a US senator also waited hours for someone to respond to his home.
“Mr. Chairman, it’s unacceptable, unacceptable…when people call 911, they expect the police to get there,” said Ward 2 councilman Zack Reed.
“I didn’t rise on this floor for my health last week, I rose because I had constituents call me about what they felt to be a grave situation and very poor police response,” said Ward 8 councilman Mike Polensek.
Several council members are demanding hearings to address complaints about the police department’s response time when resident call 911.
“The coup de grace would be the one that was shown by the I-team,” said Reed.
Councilman Reed mentioned a Fox 8 I-Team report last month that showed it took 12 minutes for police to respond to a call where a man said he was strangling his boyfriend.
“The person that’s choking the individual, choking him, said ‘why is it taking so long?” Reed recounted during the meeting.
Councilman Reed now tells Fox 8 that US Senator Sherrod Brown contacted him, saying it took two hours for Cleveland officers to show up at his home, after his burglar alarm contacted police.
“You think about what era we’re in, we’re in the era of ISIS, we’re in the era of terrorists…we know who lives in this area, we gotta get there and we gotta get there fast and it clearly should not take us two hours to get to a United States Senator’s house,” Reed said.
In response to our call, Senator Brown’s office released a statement that reads….”The Senator’s home was not burglarized or broken into. The alarm did go off last week and police were dispatched to check it out as part of the alarm company’s standard practice. We cannot comment on any more specific details involving security.”
“They say burglar alarms go from a…they’re not a priority one, they go down to a priority three, but I would think a United States Senator should always be a priority one,” Reed said.
Cleveland police spokeswoman, Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia says the city is still looking into the specifics regarding the call from Senator Brown’s home.
She says depending on how the call comes into the dispatch center, a direct call from an alarm company might not be a top priority call, unless there is an indication that someone is about to be harmed.
Cleveland safety director Michael McGrath said he did not want to comment about the 911 situation until he was able to review the specifics about any complaints.