Cleveland police union president calls for safety director’s removal

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer held a news on Thursday on what he called the “unjust” firing of four officers.

Cleveland Director of Safety Karrie Howard announced on Friday the four terminations and one suspension for separate incidents.

Follmer called for Howard’s removal from office. He said the safety director has terminated 13 officers.

“It’s quite clear in our view that he’s on a political agenda to only make his resume by our discipline,” Follmer said. “A lot of these officers are really good officers. They all have time on the job, they all have done their time on the streets. They have dedicated themselves to the city of Cleveland while the city of Cleveland turns their back on them.”

Follmer cited a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice saying it was looking forward to working with Howard.

“The Department of Justice is no good for the city of Cleveland right now. It’s all about discipline,” the union president said.

He said morale among officers is down, while violent crime is up and the police department is run by outside citizens.

The following officers were recently terminated:

  • Patrol Officer Katrina Ruma, 52, hired in 1998. Violations: uniform and clothing regulations, sick leave, wearable camera, recording devices, code of conduct.
  • Patrol Officer Samuel Ortiz, 50, hired in 2007. Violations: duty to avoid the appearance of impropriety, prisoner medical and mental health needs, code of conduct.
  • Patrol Officer Michael Guion, 41, hired in 2013. Violations: convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence, as well as standards of conduct, enforcement of domestic violence statutes, patrol section duty hours, reporting on and off duty violations.
  • Patrol Officer Chanae Donitzen, 29, hired in 2019. Violations: ethics policy, standards of conduct, code of conduct.

Det. Salvatore Santillo, 29, was suspended for 20 days without pay for violations like frisk searches, investigative stops, de-escalation and use of force.

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