Cleveland Police hold phone bank event to help solve crimes

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's no secret Cleveland is plagued with a growing number of violent crimes. It's also no secret many remain unsolved leaving dangerous people on the streets.

Police are trying to make it extra easy for you to help get these people locked up with a simple phone call with a phone bank like no other.

"Whether it's a homicide, a shooting, a robbery, a rape, we want that information to come into our tip line," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said.

With support from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department and Crimestoppers the phone back, which ran on Sunday afternoon put the many unsolved violent crimes in Cleveland center stage; four hours dedicated to soliciting, anonymously, any bit of information that might be out there.

Williams said when you consider out of the 71 homicides alone this year, more than half have yet to be solved. He also explains sometimes it's the smallest bit of information that can make the biggest difference in getting to the bottom of any crime,

"We know that most crimes are solved by a tip from someone. It's not always a detective going out doing grunt work, it's a regular ordinary citizen that calls in," Williams said.

We asked the city of Cleveland and Cleveland Police Department how successful the phone bank was on Sunday. The would not tell Cleveland 19 how many calls they received, or if they received any tips leading to arrests, saying, "The primary concern here is with anonymity with reporting which includes not discussing how many or types of tips we are receiving at this time."

Steve Loomis, the head of the Cleveland Police union sent the following statement:

While the Mayor, Safety Director, and Chief roll out this "cutting edge" idea to solve homicides and ever increasing violent crime, they continue to ignore the fact we have only 13 detectives in the Homicide Unit to solve the over 200 homicide cases in Cleveland since January of 2016 with hundreds of unsolved cases before that.  We have ALWAYS had a phone bank to take and pay money for anonymous tips, it's called CRIMESTOPPERS.  The city would be much better served by the Mayor, Safety Director, and the Chief by hiring the 128 police officers and the 30 dispatchers they are BUDGETED TO EMPLOY, anything less is a political parlor trick weeks away from a contested primary election.

With that, the phone bank manned by detectives from every district in the city put their Sunday aside, ready to run on the right new clue from you.

We're told this is just the first of many similar phone banks to come in the near future. If you didn't have a chance to call on Sunday, and you have something you want to share you are urged to call either Crimestoppers at 216-252-7463 or the police directly at 216-621-1234.

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