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500 Cleveland police officers working RNC protests, chief says neighborhoods are well staffed

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 17:33:17-04

Since last weekend Cleveland Police have been busy responding to numerous neighborhood shootings.

Police are also busy keeping the peace during RNC demonstrations downtown.

So we asked Police Chief Calvin Williams if the city’s neighborhoods have enough police officers patrolling.

There are 1,300 Cleveland police officers.

"We have more Cleveland police officers in the neighborhoods than we do downtown, a lot more,” Williams said.

There are 500 of them assigned to downtown protests. That leaves 800 officers to patrol Cleveland’s five police districts.

In order to cover the neighborhoods during the RNC, Cleveland police are working 12 hour shifts in two man cars.

Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association, said there are usually about eight cars patrolling each district on any given day.

He said the Cavs parade was a bigger challenge, because more police were drawn from the neighborhoods to work the parade, leaving only two  cars patrolling each district.

Because Williams is such a hands-on police chief, he said anyone with concerns about neighborhood staffing can contact him directly with their concerns.

"Call me and show me an example and I'll look into it,” Williams said.

Counting the 500 Cleveland police officers and other police from different agencies, there are 3,100 police officers working security for protests.