CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cuyahoga County Sheriff Harold Pretel says he is considering possibly expanding the downtown safety patrol.

The patrol was formed last month after an increase in violent crime in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland police are short hundreds of officers, and city officials asked the sheriff’s department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to help patrol the area.

The sheriff said, at first, the downtown safety patrol would be temporary, but he is now looking at making it permanent.

“We are definitely continuing it and will continue to evaluate making it permanent,” the sheriff said. “As we evaluate the need and effectiveness, along with out staffing, we’ll also look at expanding the coverage times.”

In just the past few weeks, deputies have made 371 traffic stops and seized dozens of illegal drugs and guns.

“The downtown safety patrol is doing a terrific job,” the sheriff said. “There was a need for it and they are actually making quite a difference. “

Right now, the sheriff’s downtown patrol works about four days and mainly in the evening and early morning hours.