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Crime and Courts


Cleveland safety forces see big changes at the top
Mayor Jackson acknowledges troubled times for the police department, but says those promoted have shown a commitment to Cleveland
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Now Safety Director Michael McGrath and Mayor Frank Jackson have rejected the claim that the department has suffered systemic failure.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
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In The Region:

Cleveland swore in a new safety director and police chief this (Monday) morning. But both are familiar faces. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the changes in the troubled department.

LISTEN: Changes in Cleveland police brass

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After eight years as safety director, Martin Flask is taking on new – and as yet undefined – duties in Mayor Frank Jackson’s office. Police Chief Michael McGrath taking his place as safety director. And Deputy Chief Calvin Williams is the new police chief.

Mayor Frank Jackson acknowledged during the swearings-in that these have been “tough times” for Cleveland police.

“These are very difficult decisions in terms of what has to be made on a day-to-day basis in the department of safety, and these men have demonstrated to me their commitment to the city of Cleveland, their qualifications for the offices that they are assuming.”

A county grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice is continuing its investigation of massive chase in November 2012 that ended with police firing 137 bullets and killing a fleeing couple who were unarmed. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has called the chase a “systemic” failure, something Jackson and McGrath have both rejected.  Dozens of police officers have been disciplined. Their unions maintain the shooting was justified and  city has not provided adequate training.

 

 

 

 

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