CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In a wide ranging interview with Cleveland 19's Paul Orlousky, Cleveland Councilman and Mayoral candidate Zack Reed weighed in on a variety of topics.
Mayor Frank Jackson had the same opportunity several weeks ago.
On police: Reed feels the lack of manpower and equipment is hurting morale, leading to experienced officers retiring. Cars with no air conditioning, no computers and floors rusted through so badly that the ground is visible beneath the vehicles.
He feels the loss of experience through retirements is hurting the force.
"They're not sitting on the front porch drinking Kool-Aid, they're retiring from the police force that they love and a city that they love and I'm saying to those police and the people in the community that's gonna change on November seventh."
But how to pay for it: Reed says the current budget is already nearly half way to his goal of hiring 400 new officers. 1601 officers are authorized but the money isn't being used and the department is 168 officers short as a result.
Reed believes more officers mean more interaction with citizens especially in neighborhoods where there is decades long distrust.
On the issue of a dirt bike track proposed by Mayor Jackson:
"These individuals that are driving up and down our streets in our wards and in our communities aren't the ones you see on television. The ones on television aren't harassing and taunting our men and women in blue. The ones on television aren't the ones that are running over our little babies like they did at Karuth Park."
And on downtown development versus neighborhood development the Councilman summed it up this way, "I'm not against any renovation downtown if we now start to have a philosophy of what we do downtown has to connect to uptown and what we do uptown has to connect to downtown and you can see over the past 12 years."