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Cleveland safety committee aims to prevent bump in juvenile crime as summer approaches

Safety Committee addresses options with juvenile court judge and prosecutor
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 2:23 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “The first priority of the city is first to keep its citizens safe,” said Ward 1 Councilman Joe Jones, whose ward includes Lee-Harvard. “If we can’t keep the citizens in the city of Cleveland safe, we’re in trouble.”

Cleveland’s Safety Committee met with one priority as the city heads into summer.

“Our main purpose here is to talk about juvenile-related crime and violence,” said committee chair Mike Polensek.

The Ward 8 Councilman from Collinwood invited the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley to the table.

“Our carjackings the last few years have exploded,” said O’Malley. “And what we’re really seeing is a lot of juveniles running around with guns.”

Polensek worries about other summer-related concerns, like more illegal dirt bikes, ATVs, and speeding on the roads.

The committee also heard the city is down 257 officers from its budgeted goal of 1,640.

“I’ve had it,” said Councilman Jones, who offered his own plan. “If we can change that car-planning system up where we’re putting at least 306 police officers in all of our communities and territories, we’ll calm this crime issue down.”

Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell of Glenville had another plan.

“It would be great if to bring in the highway patrol again because, safety director, we really, really, really need them right now,” said Conwell.

The recruitment of new officers remains a priority for Cleveland.

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