Mayor Bibb Announces RISE Initiative; Latest Investments Include Marketing Plan for Police Recruitment, Carjacking Pilot Program, & Expansion of Violent Crime Reduction Efforts
These join several others within the Raising Investment in Safety for Everyone Initiative
Thursday, July 20, 2023 — Cleveland — As part of his comprehensive effort to combat crime levels in the City and enhance law enforcement, Mayor Justin M. Bibb introduced today an extensive plan for additional investments in public safety. The Raising Investment in Safety for Everyone (RISE) Initiative is a portfolio of multiple strategic investments, partnerships, enforcement efforts, and technology championed by Mayor Bibb and his administration.
“The level of violence we are seeing in our city requires seismic investments and an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Mayor Bibb. “We are engaging everyone — police, fire, EMS, building and housing, community relations, residents, nonprofit partners and businesses — to confront this issue. We all have a role in keeping Cleveland safe and everyone must send the message that we will not tolerate violence.”
RISE is focused on investing in police and public safety, leveraging regional partnerships, promoting aggressive enforcement and increased police visibility, and increasing the use of technology to help tackle crime. The initiative’s framework includes foundational support specifically designed to help police do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible, recognizing that officers alone cannot solve this complex issue.
The Department of Public Safety is finalizing a contract with a local marketing consultant, who will develop a robust, comprehensive strategy and campaign for officer recruitment and retention. The department’s current numbers reflect challenges being felt by agencies nationwide experiencing an unforeseen reduction in police safety forces over the last three years.
The Division of Police partnered with Cuyahoga County and launched a pilot program that will focus on addressing carjackings and car thefts across Cleveland. The goal of this Cleveland-centered program is on intervention, where the use of pretrial monitoring will help with a more efficient court response to these types of incidents.
The City expanded several of its violent crime reduction efforts, both internally and through partnerships with other agencies. The City’s Violence Reduction Task Force – which prioritizes crimes of violence, gang activity, drug enforcement and fugitive apprehension – extended their focus to hot spots in the city and shutting down problematic locations and streets in partnership with the departments of Building & Housing, Public Health, and Fire. The City is also actively augmenting several of its law enforcement strategies by working with the U.S. Marshals, ATF and FBI on the expansion of warrant sweeps and gun intelligence efforts, the U.S. Attorney to support fast-tracking of city-related gun cases, RTA and CMHA to expand curfew enforcement, and the State Highway Patrol to ramp up traffic enforcement.
Previous investments the city has made under the RISE plan include increased police officer pay, the establishment of a $10 million violence prevention endowment fund, and using $1 million in ARPA funds for a downtown lighting project to enhance safety. Additional investments in police, including recruitment and retention strategies, remain under discussion in the run-up to Cleveland's first ever Public Safety Summit, which was announced last week. The Summit is scheduled for August 23 with leadership of the city, CPPA, and FOP working together to strategize on how to best support recruitment and retention of the city’s police force.
Earlier this month, the city announced the expanded Safe Smart CLE Camera Program, powered by FUSUS, and began a campaign encouraging business owners, residents, and community partners to register their cameras to be part of the program. Registration takes less than 60 seconds and is done through a private and secure online portal. To date, the program has nearly 2,000 cameras integrated with the City’s Real Time Crime Center. The program has the support of Cleveland State University, RTA, Steelyard Commons, and Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and is also backed by community leaders.
“Cameras tucked into new high-tech streetlights are powerful aids … [that] act as security systems and monitor traffic and parking, solving crimes, [and] silent eyes that more than once have caught overhead images that led to solving crimes,” said Pastors Greg and Teresa McCurry with New Beginning Ministries in the City’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. “This helps combat gun violence, to solving cases, to helping save lives.”
"Since working with our former Commander … our block was able to get a street camera in our street light system and we have not had any guns shooting in years on this street,” added Joyce Hood, Elizabeth Street Club President in the Union-Miles Park neighborhood. “We use[d] to be a high gun shooting area till now."
Other technology components of the RISE initiative include AI-powered camera monitoring and maintenance, a push to hire five additional crime analysts – one for each police district – to support the work of police and detectives in solving and responding to crimes, and the expansion of ShotSpotter into all five police districts, which is also supported by community members.
“ShotSpotter appears to be doing what the technology is meant to do,” said Dot Martin with the Old Brooklyn Crime Watch group. “If it helps the police officers be more efficient and productive (especially in light of the shortage of officers) then it should continue and ideally be expanded.”
“I support ShotSpotter to help the police,” added Edie Le Bouton, another resident in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. “I believe this will help citizens all over the county.”
Additionally, RISE calls for the expansion and strengthening of regional partnerships, from working with inner-ring suburban mayors and police chiefs to collaboration with the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals, State Highway Patrol, faith leaders, business owners, partner organizations like Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and others.
“As mayor, safety is my number one priority and I am deeply grateful to our first responders, to our police union leadership for their engagement, and to the community leaders out in the neighborhoods working to make Cleveland a better place,” added Mayor Bibb. “Everyone deserves to feel safe no matter what neighborhood they live in, which is why we need to unite, stand up, and push back against this violence. That’s what RISE is all about.”
READ MORE: Mayor Bibb’s RISE Initiative Flyer