Security camera issues in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – A FOX 8 I-Team investigation reveals a failure in a City of Cleveland security camera system that is set up to protect you.

We ask questions after seeing that the cameras are not working and sometimes no one is working in the center to watch them.

The cameras are part of a network feeding the Real Time Crime Center. The center reviews the video and quickly obtains clues for officers to improve the chances of an arrest after crimes.

However, on Wednesday night, police responded to a murder opposite the West Side Market.

Police radio recordings show a dispatcher saying, “Real-time checking but cameras are not working. “

An officer can be heard saying, “Can you ask Real Time Crime to look at the camera in the 26 and Lorain area?”

Then a dispatcher responds: “The cameras weren’t working because of the storm, but I’ll let them know.”

Recently, after a fatal hit-and-run, dispatch audio revealed an officer saying, “The real-time cameras… They’re down right now and have been for some time.”

This is revealed even as the city has installed more surveillance cameras throughout Cleveland.

We played some of these recordings for Fay Harris, an activist from the West Side. She told us that she insisted that the city install the cameras in the murder zone on Wednesday night.

“I think they let go of the ball. I feel really bad. It almost says the city is neglecting the maintenance of these cameras, ”said Harris.

The I-Team also investigated how often no one works in the Real Time Crime Center. We looked at the files for five months and found no one working in the center for 17 days.

We also found other days with center staff for just a few hours.

Now the Cleveland Police Union is also looking into the matter.

“It is a tool to help solve crimes or immediately take suspects or malicious people into custody, but it is also of concern to citizens,” said Union President Jeff Follmer .

Cleveland Police released the following statement:

“There are over 1,500 cameras in the city’s camera network. These are outdoor cameras, which are exposed to the four weather / climate seasons of Cleveland and require technical and physical maintenance from time to time which is performed by staff and contracted suppliers.

The statement continued:

“The Cleveland Division Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC) was established to assist officers in the field by collecting information on criminal activity as it occurs and during ongoing investigations. The Center is regularly staffed during peak hours. Both officers and analysts assigned to the CRTC are on call and available to respond to a critical incident when the center is not staffed, as is the case with the Division’s call-up units. The Cleveland Police Division intends to increase the RTCC staffing level once the overall strength of the Division increases. As a reminder, the Cleveland Police Division is currently accepting applications for the Patrol Officer position. “

The Real Time Center has, in fact, helped solve crimes. This is why we can hear officers asking what the cameras are showing. However, the police have not told us how many cameras are currently down.

While a dispatch recording referred to cameras down since “the storm,” police did not disclose when the storm passed.

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