The Cleveland Police Department has been operating while hundreds of officers short, but records show city hall security almost at full-staffing.
The I-Team did some checking and we noticed the number of Cleveland police patrol officers is down 23%.
The gang unit is down by two-thirds, while a unit targeting guns is short by a third.
But, consider the unit overseeing security for the mayor’s office, city council and other city departments.
Recommended staffing for that unit is 11 officers. The total current staffing is ten, even in a building with metal detectors.
City resident Jaye Price spoke out from the northeast side. She suggested moving a few officers out of city hall onto the streets.
“In the Collinwood area, we have shootings, dirt bike issues,” Price said.
Moving a few officers onto the streets won’t, of course, solve the police staffing problems. However, taxpayers are desperate for help.
“We don’t know what it will solve unless we try it. We have to do it in order to see what the end result is going to be,” Price said.
“This department has not been well-managed,” City Council Public Safety Chairman Michael Polensek said.
Polensek believes the city should look at moving more police out of city hall, their headquarters and all offices onto the streets.
“Where are our priorities? Where do we need to have our… employees, our men and women in blue? What priorities? In the streets, in specialized units,” he said.
If you walk around inside city hall on a typical day, you find the place quiet. Very few people walking around.
On the upper floors, it‘s not unusual to see no one in the halls, so we’ve filed a records request to find out the number of incidents at city hall leading to a police report.
The mayor has talked of the city doing all it can to fight crime.
For this story, the mayor’s office issued a statement, saying, “City hall security is handled in shifts and provides overlapping service security and customer service to citizens. The security staffing at city hall is not comparable, in operation or general staffing, of public safety divisions. We take safety and security of the entire city seriously.”
Still, in the streets, some people question why city hall can’t spare a cop or two.
“Every officer can make a change somewhere in our community,” Price said.