“They are doing a tremendous job since they started and they have done so much to make downtown safer,” said Cuyahoga County Sheriff Harold Pretel.
Eight deputies and one sergeant are assigned to the special patrol, which was created to help reduce violent crime in downtown Cleveland.
The sheriff is asking Cuyahoga County Council to approve his budget request to hire an additional 90 deputies. Those deputies would make it possible to expand the downtown patrol and bolster several other department including the staff now tracking defendants on GPS monitoring units.
Without additional staffing, the downtown patrol could be reduced.
“That’s a possibility,” Pretel told the I-Team. “As we reshuffle the deck a little bit we may have to look at some minor adjustments, I don’t think the elimination, but certainly a reduction. But then again that’s every unit that’s understaffed and we know sometimes you have to borrow from one unit to another.”
The sheriff added that if does get the funding to hire more deputies he would like to expand the downtown patrol so he can offer similar services to other communities.