Council members want security beefed up at Cleveland rec centers, pools

Tamir Rice. (Source: Family)
Tamir Rice. (Source: Family)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Recent reports of violence, including fights at Cleveland recreation centers have caught the attention of City Council. Now, they are suggesting spending nearly $1 million to beef up security.

"The city of Cleveland and the city leaders will not tolerate the things that went on last year or the year before that.  It's not going to happen this year," Councilman Kenneth Johnson said.

That's a bold statement and about half dozen Cleveland City Council members want to back it up by beefing up security at recreation centers, pools, and skating rinks. Councilman Ken Johnson of Ward 4 is leading the pack.

"Every recreation center in the city will have a security guard, an off-duty Cleveland policeman and that off-duty policeman will actually become part of the staff there," said Councilman Ken Johnson of Ward 4.

Johnson believes if an off-duty police officer had been at the Cudell Rec Center, 12-year-old Tamir Rice would not have been killed because he was playing with a fake gun.

"Nobody wants to be around a policeman and do something wrong because you can't say I didn't do it," Councilman Ken Johnson added.

Durcell Gaddis says extra security sounds good to her.

"I think it's a good idea because there are a lot of senior citizens and kids in the area. We need protection," said  Durcell Gaddis.

Stanley Lewis says it's an excellent idea.

"That presence will get people to have more respect coming in here," said Stanley Lewis.

There are 21 outdoor pools and 23 rec centers in Cleveland.  But is the nearly $1 million price tag to hire off-duty police officers too much to pay?  Not according to the parents. They say our kids are priceless.

"We have paid millions of dollars for wrongful death to some of our children's parents by those children demise. This will prevent a lot of that," Councilman Ken Johnson said.

Remember the old saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure."

About a third of the city council members are already on board with the premise.

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