Homeowner fears police response times will get worse during RNC - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Homeowner fears police response times will get worse during RNC

Terrance Williams worries about police response times after thieves targeted his grandmother's house. (Source: WOIO) Terrance Williams worries about police response times after thieves targeted his grandmother's house. (Source: WOIO)
Williams says it took police over two hours to show up after his grandmother called 911. (Source: WOIO) Williams says it took police over two hours to show up after his grandmother called 911. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Some Cleveland residents on the city’s east side are questioning whether police response times will get worse during the Republican National Convention.

The RNC is scheduled to be held in the city in less than two weeks.

A Cleveland grandmother was terrified as thieves tried to break into her home twice in an hour on Tuesday.

Her family said it took police over two hours to get to the scene.

Residents we spoke with feel like they were left to fend for themselves, and they hope it doesn't get worse during the Republican National Convention.

An attempted break-in during the middle of the day brought Terrance Williams running to his grandmother's house near E. 131st and Union Ave in Cleveland on Tuesday.

She had already called 911.

“She told me the police hadn't shown up yet, so I'm wondering what's going on,” Williams said.

Williams says he waited 40 minutes.

When he saw suspicious looking men in the backyard, who he said tried to break into his grandmother’s house again, he called 911 himself.

“She said 'we got the call, we'll get someone out there as soon as we can.' And I'm like, 'OK, well my grandmother is old, elderly, disabled. She can barely move, she lives here by herself.' She's like, 'I understand you're concerned, but we're tied up right now, we're busy, we have no one to send,’” Williams said, describing his phone call with the 911 dispatcher.

That's when Williams said he realized he was on his own.

“So I tell her OK, I'm just going to grab my shotgun and stand here and wait for police to get here and if I see these guys again I'm gonna do what I gotta do, take matters into my own hands,” he said.

He says police showed up over two hours later.

City councilman Zack Reed said this is the third time he's heard of slow police response times after a resident in his district called 911.

“If my residents can't get a response when they call 911 now, then in my opinion they don't have a snowball's chance in hell when Donald Trump and all the other Republicans are in town,” Reed said.

The thieves made it into a neighbor’s house and may have tried to break into a third home.

Williams worries residents on the east side of Cleveland will be forgotten when a spotlight is shining on downtown.

“They're more concerned with the RNC convention and downtown, but you got stuff like this every day going on in the neighborhood. And no police response, so you know the criminals are taking advantage of it,” he said.

Police aren't saying much right now. They say they're still waiting for a finished report from the responding officers. In the meantime Cleveland 19 News has requested the 911 tapes from the incident. 

Cleveland Police have repeatedly said the neighborhoods will be fully patrolled during the RNC.

Zack Reed says they're discussing a proposal during a public safety meeting at city hall in Cleveland on Thursday at 10 a.m. that would raise income tax from 2 to 2.5 percent in the city, which could hire 75 more police officers.

He says that's still not enough manpower.

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