Cleveland Police special unit officers are in short supply--why?

Cleveland Police special unit officers are in short supply--why?

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland City Council Safety Committee met with members of the Cleveland Police Department to discuss its special units.

The biggest challenge these units face is their lack of staff.

“We would like 15 detectives in the domestic violence unit, currently there are 10, and the same thing with the other units” CPD Police Chief Calvin Williams explained.

Council member Matt Zone explained that, for a city as big as Cleveland, the shortage of officers is unacceptable.

“It’s appalling to me that for a city of our size and a department of our size that we can’t fully staff it,” he said.

While Williams pointed out that there are currently 79 cadets in classes to become officers, the department is still short of their goal.

Zone explains that part of the struggle to find new recruits is that many adults are simply not interested in becoming police officers or public workers.

“We need to create the environment that people can be successful and work and create a real difference in their community,” he said.

As the police department continues to search for recruits, Council member Michael Polensek says the city must not only hire officers, but retain them.

“We are not a training service for other suburbs in of Cuyahoga County,” he said.

Council member Blaine Griffin also added that the ultimate goal of the department isn’t simply to add more officers, but to also remove violent offenders off the streets.

“Nobody cares what the [homicide] solve rate is if you’re one of those victims, and that one person, or that small group of people who have not had their homicide solved,” he said.

Chief Williams said that police academies are open for any new recruits.

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