Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed says city leaders need to be more assertive in addressing the city’s murder rate and other crime issues. With this year’s murder rate of more than 120 already past last year’s total, Reed is again calling for a major increase in crime fighting resources.
Reed says the city income tax increase voters passed this month makes his plan feasible. He wants to hire 400 new officers over the next two-to-three years, expanding the force to 2,000. Reed says the current proposal to hire about 60 more next year, with a total of 120 more over the next few years, is inadequate.
“We lose 7 police officers on average per month, so you do the math, that’s 84 police officers that leave per year. So when you’re talking about bringing on 60, 70, 80 police officers you’re doing nothing more than treading water.”
Reed also advocates investing in more security cameras on the streets. He believes reducing violence and other offenses is the best way to spark investment and create jobs in crime ridden neighborhoods. A spokesman for Mayor Frank Jackson says the consent decree with the Justice Department will also influence future police staffing levels.