Rainy day funds could cover police overtime to fight violence

Rainy day funds could cover police overtime to fight violence

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The city's safety committee will discuss moving money from Cleveland's rainy day fund to help fight the violence on city streets on Wednesday.

Councilman Zack Reed has been asking for $1 million to fight crime on the east side for months. Now, he may be a step closer to getting it.

During a rash of violence over several weeks starting in September, 5-year-old Ramon Burnett Jr., 3-year-old Major Howard and 5-month-old Aavielle Wakefield lost their lives in separate shootings on the east side of Cleveland.

Since then, Reed has pushed for more police funding. He wants to use $1 million from the city's rainy day fund to pay for police overtime.

Currently, the rainy day fund has $19 million in it.

Reed says the measure would cover 2,500 police shifts over the next six months. He says that would put 250 extra officers on the streets.

"I want to show my colleagues we're not going to use this money in a peanut butter approach and spread it around the city. There are places in our city that are like war zones. We just got new numbers for homicide. We now stand at 116 homicides in the city of Cleveland and we still got six weeks to go," Reed said.

The mayor has been opposed to the measure, calling it a "BAND-AID" that needs a long-term solution.

The safety committee votes on the measure Wednesday at 10 a.m. If it passes, it will go to the finance committee and then to the council floor for a vote.

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