[In the player above, watch previous FOX 8 I-Team coverage of the Cleveland police shortage.]
The new initiative, dubbed Operation 216, will see members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force focusing in on crime “hot spots” in Cleveland, according to the release. More funding is also headed to the city police department’s Neighborhood Impact and Community Engagement Unit and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office’s warrant unit.
“The importance of the teamwork and collaboration we have with the U.S. Marshals cannot be overstated,” Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond is quoted in the release. “The Marshals, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Cuyahoga County Sherriff’s Department are great partners year-round and we really appreciate the hard work that they do.”
Most of the new police work is expected to happen in August and September, according to the release. Operation 216 also provides an additional cold case investigator tasked with solving homicides from the past two to three years.
The new strategies and investments align with Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb’s new public safety initiative, Raising Investment in Safety for Everyone, or RISE, Marshals said.
“Combating violent crime and arresting those responsible for these acts is our top priority,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott is quoted in the release. “We are pleased to be able to provide support to the Cleveland Division of Police as we work together to secure our streets and remove violent offenders from our communities.”
City council members in a Tuesday statement applauded the new partnership.
“Clevelanders deserve safe neighborhoods. Safety is the top priority that our city can provide,” said council President Blaine Griffin, Ward 6.
Safety committee chairperson Mike Polensek, Ward 8, said he has been in contact with Elliott’s office for months “over the growing level of violence” in the city.
Last month, Polensek formally requested support from the U.S. Marshals to help Cleveland Division of Police “in its efforts to combat the dramatic increases in violent crimes and civil disobedience in our neighborhoods across the city,” he said.