Police union president: Cleveland 'not prepared' to deal with RNC issues

Police union president: Cleveland 'not prepared' to deal with RNC issues

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Republican National Convention begins July 18, and Cleveland Police Union President Steve Loomis said the city is not prepared or organized to deal with the problems the convention will present.

"For the city to 'unveil' 28-page General Police Order 3.3.30 governing our actions just a few short weeks from the RNC further demonstrates our assertion that the city/division simply is not prepared," Loomis said in a letter sent out Wednesday.

He goes on to say city officials are in all-out panic mode regarding the training and equipment problems law enforcement officials have brought to their attention for months. He said rushing at the last hour is a week attempt to divert responsibility away from the city and onto law enforcement should things go poorly.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams released a statement of his own Wednesday. He said throughout the planning for the RNC, officers have undergone hours of training relative to many subjects. Though not all training can be discussed or demonstrated as law enforcement tactics are sensitive, the training has been both comprehensive and valuable, he said.

Here is the entire letter written by Loomis:

For the city to "unveil" 28 page General Police Order 3.3.30 governing our actions just a few short weeks from the RNC further demonstrates our assertion that the city/ division simply is not prepared or organized to deal with the issues we will be facing during the RNC.  To attempt to organize mass division wide "training" on this GPO at this late date is unrealistic.  Especially when this training consists of an academy instructor (who was not consulted during its creation) whom will simply read the GPO to the class via power point. Once again the division absurdly expects us to attend this training off duty and without payment in the name of sacrificing for the cause.

The city administration is in all out panic mode regarding the training and equipment issues we have been bringing to their attention for months now. Everything from grenadier training at the range this week, training on the 28 page GPO and associated DN's, flex cuff training, to the 12 hours of mandated Mobile Field Force training they are attempting to schedule are prime examples ( as long as "operational needs permit" and "no overtime is  accrued") . Training for mounted unit, bicycle, and motorcycle units are just more examples of knee jerk reaction to media coverage and DOJ oversight of our preparedness. All the while the key phrase "NO OVERTIME TO ACCRUE" are typed in bold letters at the bottom of every announcement.  

In the mean time every shift in every district struggles to maintain even a 70% car plan leaving our neighborhoods vulnerable.  We are and should be willing to come in on our day or shift off to attend training as to not adversely effect policing in our neighborhoods.  The city however, has a responsibility to insure we are properly paid for our time. This is where the problem lies.

In the end folks, the elected and appointed politicians are completely relying on the fact that you are all heroic and integral people who love this city and will do whatever is necessary to protect each other, the citizens and the property within it.  They know you will do this despite their short comings and obvious lack of priority in getting you the best equipment, training, and assistance  possible.

This last hour rushing is simply a weak attempt to divert responsibility/ liability away from the city and on to us should things go poorly.  I simply will not allow that to happen...

Be Safe, document everything and get me copies, keep putting your OT cards in, and call with ANY issue no matter how small you believe it to be.

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