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Proposal to expand Case Western and University Circle police patrols pulled after opposition

Case Western Reserve University and University Circle maintain their own police departments. Other universities, like Cleveland State, and the city's hospitals and public agencies, like RTA and CMHA, all have their own police departments. [Kim Willems / Shutterstock]
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

Shortly before Monday night’s Cleveland City Council meeting, two ordinances expanding the area that University Circle and Case Western Reserve University police can patrol were pulled from the agenda.

The ordinances would have allowed the two departments to patrol in the Little Italy neighborhood. Case Western police would have also expanded into a small part of the city just north of Wade Park Avenue.

Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell asked to have the legislation delayed. His ward includes parts of University Circle and the Case Western campus. In 2018, he was stopped by Case police while walking on campus. The incident prompted an apology from the university’s president, Barbara Snyder and a proposal for stricter training requirements for the city’s many small, private police agencies.

According to a council spokesperson, Conwell was not aware of the proposal before it was put on the agenda.

The spokesperson says the pulled ordinances will be introduced to council at a later date, likely after a community meeting on the proposals.

The two departments, along with other private agencies like Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police, Cleveland Clinic police and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority police, have agreements with the city that give them police powers within city limits.

Those agreements have come under scrutiny because the departments are not required to follow consent decree policies that govern the Cleveland Division of Police.

It’s also unclear whether officers across Ohio fulfill state-mandated training requirements.

matthew.richmond@ideastream.org | 216-916-6286