You see video from state trooper body cameras, patrol car dash cameras and cameras from a helicopter showing the Ohio State Highway Patrol helping to take back city streets from the air and the ground.
We obtained video recorded on the first day of a crackdown aimed at doing something about a spike in carjackings, killings, chaos with stolen car thieves and more. The highway patrol sent troopers in to help with violent crime soaring, and while Cleveland police are chronically short-staffed.
The video shows troopers on the ground teaming up with troopers in a chopper. Radio chatter reveals patrols on the ground chasing vehicles and relaying information to the helicopter crew to follow suspects from the air.
The governor said in the first day the state patrol made dozens of traffic stops, arresting twenty people.
We saw two cases that began with drivers running red lights. Investigators found one driver had a stolen car. The other had drugs.
Again, we noticed troopers chased drivers and used a chopper. Cleveland police often do not allow city officers to chase suspects. Cleveland police have two helicopters, but records show just one officer is assigned to that unit.
One of the video clips shows a swarm of highway patrol cars boxing in a suspect in a vehicle.
We went to see Rev. Jimmy Gates, pastor of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church. It sits in the heart of the first area targeted in the special operation.
“First of all, I’m happy to see them here with the extra security,” Rev. Gates said. “What I’m hoping to see is a more stable community because we want to revitalize Mount Pleasant. Let’s face the fact: In order for people to invest in the community, we have to reduce the crime.”
Rev. Gates added more people in the community also need to get involved in helping law enforcement.
The new operation won’t go on every night. But it’s not over, either.
The new video provides a snapshot showing why stopping a crime wave won’t be easy.
We asked city hall about the police helicopters. A spokesman sent an e-mail saying: “Both helicopters are scheduled for a complete overhaul this year. One last flew two days ago on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The Aviation Unit’s short- and long-term goals are coupled with leveraging our partnerships with OSHP’s Aviation Unit — some of which the governor explained during [Wednesday’s] press conference.”