City of Cleveland Daily News Updates - #311

Friday, March 12, 2021

The City of Cleveland continues to take numerous precautions across multiple departments and divisions amid increasing cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). Below are some important updates. Mayor Frank G. Jackson signed an order on Feb. 24, 2021 extending the City’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency through March 31, 2021. Click here to view the order. Essential services such as Police, Fire, EMS, waste collection and Utilities will remain operational.

City of Cleveland Statement on Police Pursuits

The City of Cleveland, along with cities around the nation has seen a great increase in violent crime, including homicides, shootings and aggravated robberies. Officers are working tirelessly within the community in order to apprehend these violent criminals and end crime sprees. Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard and Police Chief Calvin D. Williams stand with members of Cleveland City Council and remain committed to providing the highest level of safety services to the residents of and visitors to the City of Cleveland. Acts of violence will NOT be tolerated and officers will continue to bring criminals to justice.

The Cleveland Division of Police has a General Police Order pertaining to Vehicle Pursuits which provides guidelines under which vehicle pursuits are permitted. The policy emphasizes the importance of conducting vehicle pursuits in a way that lessens the danger to other motorists and pedestrians.  All members of the Cleveland Division of Police are trained in the General Police Order governing Vehicle Pursuits (GPO 3.2.02) and supervisors receive specialized training on overseeing and controlling vehicle pursuits. The policy states, in part:

Officers may initiate a vehicle pursuit when ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • The Suspect operating the vehicle refuses to stop at the officer’s direction and flees apprehension for an actual or alleged violent felony.
  • Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated (OVI).
  • The immediate danger of the pursuit is less that the immediate or potential danger to the public if the suspect remains at large and the officer is operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

One way that supervisors control vehicle pursuits is by coordinating with the Aviation Unit. When available, the Aviation Unit shall become the primary pursuit unit and shall assist the controlling supervisor in directing the secondary units as needed.

Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and controlling vehicle pursuits with the safety of officers and citizens as a top priority. Each vehicle pursuit is a unique event and can be terminated for reasons including: weather, time of day, volume of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, road conditions, capability of the pursuit vehicle, population density, geographic location, officer familiarity with the area and proximity to certain areas (such as schools, parks, playgrounds, and venues associated with crowds) during those times when pedestrians are reasonably perceived to be active.

On March 9, 2021, the Cleveland Division of Police conducted a city-wide operation targeting multiple suspects wanted for vehicle thefts and carjackings throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. The initiative was directed by the Fourth District Violent Crimes Reduction Team and was assisted by the five neighborhood police districts, the Neighborhood Impact Community Engagement Unit, Gang Impact Unit, Canine, Aviation, and partnering law enforcement agencies. The three suspects taken into custody and approximately seven others are suspected in over 30 Grand Theft Motor Vehicle and Aggravated Robberies, at times shooting at or striking their victims. The suspects range in age from 14-19 years old.

This effort was made possible by collaboration between the Cleveland Division of Police neighborhood police districts, specialized units within the division and outside law enforcement agencies. The collaboration and planning focused not only on the apprehension of the juvenile suspects, but put emphasis on executing the operation safely while keeping in mind that some of the suspects were in their early teens.  The utilization of the Cleveland Division of Police Aviation Unit was integral in following and apprehending the suspects as safely as possible and no serious injuries were sustained by officers or those taken into custody.

In addition, City Council announced there will be a special hearing on this topic on Wednesday, March 17 at 10am. We encourage the public to tune in.

Click here to watch Cleveland’s Public Access Channel TV20 Live.

About the City of Cleveland

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at www.clevelandohio.gov, Twitter at @cityofcleveland, Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofcleveland, or on our blog at clecityhall.com.

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