Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Brigid Mary McDonnell at Fox News by Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, in preparation for an interview he was giving to the news channel.
In this letter Loomis lets McDonnell know about the abysmal situation in Cleveland regarding equipment, training, communications, and other crucial matters. If your organization has written a similar note to reporters, your politicos, or anyone else you need to be influencing, please send it along and we will send it out.
Dear Brigid Mary:
The personal protective gear we do have is basically two sizes fits all with the rivets popping out during fitting. It has been suggested by supervision we use duct tape to ensure proper fitting.
We all have body cameras that we want to use however the Chief’s office is telling us “there is no way to attach them to riot gear.” An obviously ridiculous notion. Instead of 600 Cleveland police officers having cameras on that will both protect them and act as a deterrent against bad behavior of the agitators, the chief proposes a half of dozen “videographers” be deployed to protect us. Replacing 600 body cameras with 6 untrained “videographers” is yet another ridiculous notion…
The city has not provided us with new riot shields – we currently have approximately 50 15-year old shields in various states of disrepair. The agency did not order pepper gas balls, rubber projectiles or CS gas. All these items are absolutely necessary to train for the possibility of a worst case scenario and we will not have them. Our officers were fitted for gas masks but at this time we still do not have them.
Our mountain bike unit continues to complete their five day basic training course but it appears the agency will not have the time or personnel to complete advance “crowd control” training. In addition, the members of the bike unit have not been fitted for the special riot gear they need to ride the bikes during a crowd control/ riot situation…
We are being told that front line officers will not have radios with them which is completely unacceptable!
Our 911 system continues to go down due to volume of calls. A man died as a direct result of our failing system. As he was having a heart attack his family could not reach dispatchers for help. The phone system was down for 1 hour and 13 minutes. A family member had to drive to a fire station over one mile away to get help wasting valuable, life saving minutes.
Most upsetting are the public statements coming from city officials saying all is well when it clearly is not..Dozens of cities have pulled their assistance for the RNC, and not one of the city leaders questions why that is happening…
Matt Zone, chairman of our city’s Safety Committee, has publicly stated on numerous occasions that we have 1500 Cleveland officers and 3000 sworn personnel from outside agencies working this event. Either he is straight up lying or he is completely ignorant of the actual situation. The truth is we have 600 Cleveland Police officers going, 500 of whom have received only three days of training from FEMA and nothing else to date.
I have in my possession a list of assisting agencies dated May 25th which clearly shows 809 uniformed officers from outside agencies will be deployed. That number is actually slightly over 700 if you remove Greensboro NC, and several other agencies that have since pulled their officers from this list.
The Cleveland Police Department has been set up for failure by our city leadership. We will always do the best we can with the resources, training, equipment, and numbers that have been made available to us by the city. If this thing slides south on us it will not be because of the men and women in the trenches, it will be because of a complete and utter failure of our leadership to properly plan, train, equip, and staff for a worst case scenario at the Republican National Convention.
– Steve Loomis, President, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association