Keeping secrets about your safety, Cleveland refuses to release details about 911 response times

Posted at 8:34 PM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 10:00:48-04

For close to one year, the City of Cleveland refused to provide basic information to On Your Side Investigators about how it responds to emergency calls.

Our investigative team requested information about how long it takes Cleveland police to respond to citizens' emergency calls in June 2016.

Nine months later, we were still waiting. 

"It's unreasonable for them to simply ignore you for nine months," said J. Michael Murray, a Cleveland attorney who has filed cases involving First Amendment issues for approximately 40 years.

On Your Side Investigators found News 5 isn't the only one playing the waiting game. 

The Ohio Court of Claims said there are more complaints about how Cleveland processes public records requests than any other entity in the state.

"It tells me that the city needs to be much more diligent, more more vigilant and they need to take these requests much more seriously than apparently they are," said Murray. 

On Your Side Investigator Sarah Buduson went to City Hall Friday to get answers about why Cleveland fails to respond to requests in a timely manner. 

"I believe that we have a high volume of public records requests that we, the city, responds to," said Chief Counsel Gary Singletary. 

Singletary was unfamiliar with our request for 911 records and had no explanation regarding why Cleveland has more complaints than any other Ohio agency. 

After we informed Dan Williams, Director of Media Relations, we planned to put together a story about the delay in fulfilling our request, we gave us flash drive containing the 911 respond records Friday morning.

But when we opened the file, we found critical details we requested, like the nature of each call, were still missing.