Cleveland Police Chief Updates City Council On Staffing, Mission

Chief Calvin Williams (right) in April 2017 [Matt Richmond/ideastream]
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Amid concerns about safety in their wards, Cleveland City Council received an update today on staffing in the Cleveland police department from Chief Calvin Williams.

The plan includes more than 300 new patrol officers and an expansion of the city’s online crime reporting system.

With five classes going through the police academy this year, Williams says the department is hoping to add about 315 new officers in 2018. There are five classes scheduled this year, with one already underway.

“Our deployment strategy is based on violent crime reduction number one, community engagement number two, and then compliance with the consent decree number three,” said Williams.

In addition to new patrol officers, the police department says there are three new Crime Scene Investigators on staff with plans to add one more in coming months, bringing the total to 14.

Councilmembers also shared another proposal for the department at today’s meeting: mini-police stations.

Earlier this week, 12 of 17 council members sent a letter to Williams, asking him to re-open the stations that were closed in 2004.

Each station would have one officer dedicated to the area.

Chief Williams expressed concern about what mini-stations might mean for all patrol officers.

“Every officer is a community policing, mini-station, community engagement officer, not just the guys who have that specific designation,” said Williams. “As long as we don’t lose that in this whole thing, then I’m all for it, Councilman.”

Williams also presented a new mission statement for the police department.

Cleveland Division of Police old mission statement:

The Mission of the members of the Cleveland Division of Police is to enhance the quality of life, strengthen our neighborhoods and deliver superior services with professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence by working in partnership with our neighborhoods and community.

Cleveland Division of Police new mission statement:

The mission of the Cleveland Division of Police is to serve as guardians of the Cleveland community. Guided by the Constitution, we shall enforce the law, maintain order, and protect the lives, property, and rights of all people.  We shall carry out our duties with a reverence for human life and in partnership with members of the community through professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence in policing.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the police mini-stations closed in 2005.  They closed in 2004.

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