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Cleveland's Police Chief Says Community Must Help Officers Curb Summer Violence

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After a string of homicides this weekend that included a shooting at an outdoor party in Cleveland, police say the public needs to help officers prevent more violence. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams is asking people with information about the killings to come forward, and to call police ahead of violent confrontations.

"Our officers can't be everywhere," Williams said. "Division of Fire, EMS, we can't be everywhere at all times. But people out there know the things that happen, they know when an issue is about to escalate. We should get that call before it results in gunfire."

But Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson countered that city police need more staffing and funds.

"We need to...identify the violent neighborhoods, and bring the resources," Johnson said. "But right now, we don't feel we have enough police officers who are doing investigations, particularly on homicides and violent cases."

Williams said the force was staffed enough for the weekend, and that felony assaults to date this year were about equal with last year's numbers.

Around the time of the press conference, officers responded to a shooting on Cleveland's southeast side, according to media reports and City Councilman Zack Reed.