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City pledges police ready to ensure safe and orderly election

Cleveland police prepare for election
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Posted at 4:46 PM, Nov 02, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH — Cleveland city leaders pledged Monday to "take whatever actions are necessary" to protect people's right to vote in the upcoming general election.

"The Cleveland Division of Police has a plan in place to ensure that everyone who comes to vote will be able to do so safely and orderly," said Director of Public Safety Karrie Howard during a teleconference.

Howard said the city will activate its emergency operations center and will work with federal, state and local partners to ensure Election Day is a safe one.

Earlier Monday, the US Department of Justice announced it planned to have staff monitoring voting sites across Cuyahoga County looking for possible violations of federal voting rights laws.

Cuyahoga County is one of 44 jurisdictions nationwide where the DOJ planned to send monitoring teams.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the city is also prepared to handle other issues that may arise surrounding the election.

Police canceled days off for officers scheduled to work afternoon and night shifts in hopes of having enough police available in case of unrest following the vote.

"As this thing goes throughout Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we'll reassess what the Division of Police and Department of Public Safety needs to do to keep our folks safe," said police Chief Calvin Williams.

City leaders ask anyone who sees anything troubling or unusual at the polls to call police.

"We will take whatever actions are necessary to protect people's right to vote and to maintain the peacefulness of that vote," said Jackson.

The city is also reminding people that COVID-prevention measures will remain in effect during Election Day, meaning voters will be required to wear masks while waiting in line and inside the city's election centers.

Watch Mayor Jackson's full news conference here.