Editorial: Policing Downtown

Cleveland, OH - Mayor Frank Jackson and the city of Cleveland are going ahead with plans to close the Third District police station despite mounting criticism of the move.

More than 250 people jammed the Sterling Recreation center last week to hear Jackson defend the decision and most were opposed to it. The police union says that closing the district, which extends from downtown to Old Brooklyn, will increase response times and encourage criminals.

The union may be right about that - but the fact is there is plenty of downtown street crime right now and the Third District cops nearby or not - don't seem to be stopping it.

Just ask a Detroit couple visiting Cleveland last week. After leaving their downtown hotel they were attacked and beat up by a mob of thugs on Public Square. There were two armed robberies on the square in recent weeks and teenage punks roam the area at night virtually with impunity.

What the city needs to do with its cops is to get them out of the district house and on the sidewalks - walking a beat.