© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Noon(ish): Does Cuyahoga County Need A Public Safety Director?

Cuyahoga County's administrative headquarters in Downtown Cleveland. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
Cuyahoga County's administrative headquarters in Downtown Cleveland

The view from the Idea Center

There are so many problems in Cuyahoga County’s criminal justice system. There’s the mismanaged and overcrowded jail. There are the slower-than-molasses-in-January bail reform efforts at the county’s Common Pleas Court.

County Councilman Michael Gallagher (District 5) believes he’s found another one. He told ideastream’s Matt Richmond the chief public safety and justice officer – a cabinet-level position overseeing the sheriff, the jail and the clerk of court – undercuts the authority of the elected representatives of the council.

“I don’t see how you just create a position, avoiding the consent of council, to be above those that are confirmed by council,” said Gallagher, chairman of council’s Public Safety and Justice Affairs Committee. “To me, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

The chief public safety and justice officer isn’t a brand-new post. Cuyahoga County Chief Executive Armond Budish’s administration created it in 2015 as a way of keeping Frank Bova, the former sheriff, on Budish’s leadership team.

The issue is on Gallagher’s mind because his committee gets an update today on the county’s search for a new person for the job. The last public safety officer, Brandy Carney, was appointed last month to another new cabinet position, chief of special operations. She’ll oversee the management of the county’s $100 million in opioid settlement money.

Gallagher may have some legit concerns about council authority over cabinet appointments. But from where I sit, it seems a bit like worrying about who gets to pick the interior decorator while the house is still on fire.

See you bright and early tomorrow morning on the radio,
Amy Eddings

Need to KnOH

Headlines from Northeast Ohio and Beyond

Your ideas

Lawrence Drake lost his adult daughter Kia to cancer and found little support aimed specifically at him, an African American man.  Drake, author of "Color Him Father," will be at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame event later this week, and spoke with Mike McIntyre on The Sound of Ideas this morning. He discussed his journey through tragedy and what keeps him going.

Do men experience and process grief differently? How can people get specialized support when they need it? Call us at  (216) 916-6476, comment on our Facebook page or join the conversation in Public Square. We'll feature some of your thoughts and comments here in Noon(ish) and on Morning Edition.

Expertise: Hosting live radio, writing and producing newscasts, Downtown Cleveland, reporting on abortion, fibersheds, New York City subway system, coffee