Officers assigned to police gym: Questioning the chief

Officers assigned to police gym: Questioning the chief
Deadly Cleveland Police chase, November 2012
Deadly Cleveland Police chase, November 2012

19 Action News is asking new questions about why Cleveland Police officers are still getting paid to be in the police gym months after a deadly chase and shooting.

We went one on one about this with Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath.

We're asking why so many officers have been assigned to the police gym since a the big chase in November that led to police firing 137 shots killing two people.

After that the 13 officers firing those shots got sent to the police gym, sent there to clear their heads.

They get paid,  but paid to spend four hours a day working out and spend the rest of their work time to be with their families and mental health doctors.

This week we learned 10 officers are still assigned to the gym -- going on six months. Three officers have been assigned to desk jobs. They can carry a gun but the jobs are considered non-sensitive.

But when will all of them be out of the gym? The chief says that'll be up to a mental health doctor.

"They don't have to check in with the doctor every day. They have the availability if they want to, if they have issues. But they also have the availability of checking with the employee assistance unit," said Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath. "They're there for their own well-being, their family's well  being."

Other towns put officers back on the streets much more quickly, sometimes within days. McGrath told us he couldn't answer for what other cities do.

A county prosecutor is reviewing the shooting for any criminal charges.

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