Cleveland Mayor Wants 'Safety Summit' Due To Rise In Homicides

CLEVELAND (AP) - Mayor Jane Campbell is so alarmed about Cleveland's soaring homicide rate that she wants a "safety summit" to find help.

Campbell (pictured, right) on Wednesday announced plans for a meeting on May 10.

She said she expects to review this year's 32 homicides, up from eight at the same time last year, and to consider ways to stop the violence.

"We will send a clear message that, in Cleveland, killing our children, killing our loved ones, or any of our fellow citizens, will not be tolerated," she told a gathering of 300 at the downtown City Club during her "State of the City" speech.

She shifted to a somber tone only in discussing the killings, calling them "disturbing news" even though police have solved 75 percent of the cases.

"The Cleveland police and prosecutors are doing their job, but we must focus on prevention," she said.

Before the speech, mayoral aide Craig Tame said Campbell's invitation list for the summit will include the mayors of inner-ring suburbs, a criminologist from Cleveland State University and a homicide expert from Northeastern University in Boston.

"We want to get a full view of the violent crime," he said.

During the speech, Campbell reiterated plans to form a team of police officers, prosecutors, judges and others to track homicide patterns. She said Chicago has taken a similar approach to developing crime-prevention measures.

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