Cleveland councilman asks mayor to declare a state of emergency

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland councilman Michael Polensek is trying to find a solution to the gun violence in Cleveland.

"How many innocent people are going to be wounded or severely hurt because these gangsters and thugs think they can do whatever they want," Polensek said. 

Polensek has asked Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to get help in controlling violence in the city.

"We need to have support from an outside agency to bolster the Cleveland Police Department until they can bring on the new classes," Polensek said.

Polensek wrote a letter to Mayor Jackson asking for the mayor to declare a state of emergency, and have the Ohio State Patrol and or Cuyahoga County Sheriff's deputies begin patrols in areas where crime has spiked.

The area includes the corner of East 156th Street and Waterloo Road where there was a shootout between eight men just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 19.

An innocent 7-year-old girl in her dad's car was grazed by a bullet during the shooting.

"It's undeniable what's taking place here. This was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. When I looked at that video four times, it's like watching a video game," Polensek said.

He's requesting the help because he argues there needs to be more officers on the streets, but it will take too long until new recruits will be ready.  He said something needs to happen in the meanwhile to curb the violence.

"Continue not to do anything, continue to ignore it, you talk about getting a bad name? If we keep going, we are going to hit another record for homicides this year," Polensek said.

We reached out to the mayor's office to see what they will do about Polensek's request to declare a state of emergency, the mayor declined to comment.

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