CLEVELAND (WJW) – Since taking office a little more than six weeks ago, the new Cuyahoga County sheriff has already made changes in the department and tells the FOX 8 I-Team he is planning more.

Sheriff Harold Pretel started a downtown safety patrol in August to help reduce crime in downtown Cleveland. In just a matter of weeks, deputies made 371 traffic stops, arrested 16 people on warrants and seized weapons and illegal drugs.

 “The Downtown Safety Patrol is doing a terrific job downtown,” Pretel said. “That is a model we would like to implement throughout the county. Obviously, we can’t do it all at one time but if there was a community who requested some assistance that is something we can do on the patrol side.”

The sheriff added that he is looking to expand the department and hire additional employees, including more corrections officers for the jail.

One of the sheriff’s newest hires, includes the department’s new chief deputy Aaron Reese.

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Reese recently retired from the Cleveland Police Department where he was a supervisor in the homicide unit. The sheriff noted that Reese was credited with solving dozens of cases.

“I think what he did there was very valuable, and very impactful,” Pretel said.

Reese said he is honored to be part of the sheriff’s staff. He added that he will continue to work with Cleveland homicide detectives on several unsolved cases.

Pretel said with Reese’s help, the department would also like to assist Cuyahoga County Communities with homicide and other criminal investigations.

“There is so much going on with violence and robbery and things like that,” Pretel said. “I think we can certainly provide a different lens and be a collaborator addressing those issues throughout the county.”