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Police chief says department has a plan to address violence, would not release details

Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 19:27:28-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland's police chief said Thursday his department has a "concrete plan" to address skyrocketing violent crime in the city, but would not release details of that plan when asked during a teleconference with reporters.

"Well, that’s a great question," said Chief Calvin Williams. "That’s a question that I really can’t give you details on."

Instead, Williams again echoed that his department is working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to address the rise in violent crime in Cleveland.

"A lot of the violent crime that happens in the city happens as retaliatory things," said Williams. "That’s why our folks try to make sure that the intelligence we receive is acted on as quick as possible."

As of late August, city figures showed 91 people died as a result of homicide in Cleveland. That represented a 34% jump compared to the same period a year ago.

Those numbers did not include the killings of a Cleveland police detective and at least seven other people this month.

Mayor Frank Jackson blamed at least some of the problems on state and federal policies surrounding what he called the availability of guns.

"The question to us, as to what we’re doing, we’re doing what we’re doing," said Jackson. "How effective that becomes another question. And then, if it’s not as effective as it should be, or we’d like it to be, then that is another question as to why not and I’ve just given you what I believe to some of the why nots," said the mayor.

Jackson also stressed the need to address issues in the community that leads to people turning to violence. He said this week's reorganization of the city's health department is one step toward addressing the prevention of some of those issues.