Recently, Mayor Jackson, along with members of his Administration, outlined the City’s ongoing strategies to improve quality of life and increase safety in Cleveland. A portion of this strategy involves the lateral transfer of experienced police officers from various locations throughout Ohio to the City of Cleveland. Today is the first day of what will be eight weeks of intensive police training in the Cleveland Police Academy for these officers.
With these additional officers on the streets in basic patrol, Police Chief Michael McGrath will then be able to assign 20 veteran Cleveland Police Officers to the Gang Impact Squad, adding two additional squads and extending the reach of the highly successful VGRIP (Violence and Gun Reduction Interdiction) Program. VGRIP partners Cleveland Police Detectives with federal agents to target neighborhood hotspots for crime, with an emphasis on decreasing gun violence.
Another portion of Mayor Jackson’s all-hands-on-deck approach is increasing the capacity of first responders to offer peace of mind during emergencies. Today, the 28th Cleveland Fire Academy commenced with 36 new recruits. These recruits will undergo 18 weeks of rigorous training before graduation, which is scheduled for August 16, 2013. These recruits are part of the new effort to integrate Cleveland Fire and EMS, the goal of which is to maximize the City’s resources to be able to respond to the increasing medical needs of the community while maintaining fire and rescue operations. To date, the integration has led to the co-location of 14 EMS ambulances at Cleveland fire stations.
These efforts to improve public safety on the streets of Cleveland come at a time when weak gun laws have negatively affected families and communities throughout Cuyahoga County and across Ohio. Recently, Mayor Jackson joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns and other local elected officials and community leaders to urge Congress to support stronger gun safety laws.
These efforts combined with a focused attention on community outreach programs for at risk youth, are just some of the strategies Mayor Jackson and the City of Cleveland are focusing on to increase safety, reduce violence, and impact the quality of life for all residents.