Deputy Chief Ed Tomba is retiring after serving 32 years with the Cleveland Police Department.
Primarily behind-the-scenes, the director of Homeland Special Operations has had his pulse on every major event in the city of Cleveland for years.
But even with a career spanning more than three decades, most of Tomba’s memorable moments with CPD came in just the past year — the Cavs’ Championship parade, the Republican National Convention, and the Indians in the World Series.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of the men and women of law enforcement,” Tomba said.
But with the highs have also come the lows. Challenges within the department are no secret.
News 5 has reported on complaints about slow response times, the high unsolved murder rate, and the consent decree CPD had to sign with the Justice Department.
“Can the police department improve? I think without a doubt, we can improve. We can be better and we’ve committed to that,” Tomba said. “In all honesty, we’re not as, I think, as challenged or as bad as that consent decree reads, but I do think there are some solid recommendations.”
He added that better training and hiring more officers are pieces of the solution. The Cleveland Police Department is currently recruiting patrol officers for 200 open positions.
When it comes to reducing the crime rate and tackling issues of gangs and drugs, Tomba said the answer lies with both the police and the community.
“We can go out and arrest people and that is not going to solve the problem. Solving the problem is families, jobs and opportunities,” Tomba said.
Tomba isn’t leaving law enforcement entirely. His last day with CPD is Monday. On Tuesday he will start his new role as the new Middleburg Heights' chief of police.