Twice, he took police while travelling to a place where security protects the President of the United States.
Meanwhile, Cleveland residents often have to wait for help when they call 911.
Mayor Justin Bibb made a splash when he recently traveled to the White House, taking part in events celebrating federal money coming to Ohio and more.
But, the I-Team found, he didn’t go alone.
On both trips, he took two Cleveland police officers with him. Records show they “traveled with the mayor to provide security and escort services while in DC.”
So, he took city officers for his personal security on trips to the White House where top-level security already guards the president.
At the same time, the I-Team has revealed citizens are, generally, waiting longer for police when they call 911. The Cleveland Police Department has been operating while being hundreds of officers short.
At a news conference Monday, the I-Team asked the mayor directly why he took two police officers, twice, on trips to Washington, D.C. and the White House.
“As I’ve said before, the Cleveland Division of Police has checked out protocols for my safety,” Bibb said. “I’m not going to comment on my safety, but know that, as you saw today, we are doing everything to keep our city safe.”
The mayor also ignored follow-up questions about the use of police resources and whether or not he’s had any threats against him.
The White House event last month also included other mayors from Ohio. So, we checked to see if any of those mayors also took police officers or security with them.
We contacted several other cities and found the mayors there took no security.
Akron, Lakewood, Elyria, Lorain, Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus all said no security went with their city officials to the White House.
In fact, Columbus even sent another official instead of the mayor.
Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley told us he paid his own way. A spokesperson for Cincinnati told us the mayor there also paid his own way.
We also took a look at the cost of the Mayor of Cleveland taking police with him to the White House.
Records show thousands of dollars in expenses for air fare and hotels. We also noticed, in one case, the mayor’s security detail rented a car, spending $600 on a car for a one-day trip.
Months ago, the I-Team also found the Mayor of Cleveland taking officers for his security while attending conferences.
He wouldn’t discuss that then or the D.C. trips now.