The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has announced its intention to endorse Councilman Zack Reed for mayor.
This is the second consecutive election that the CPPA has given its endorsement to the opponent of incumbent Frank Jackson. The union backed Ken Lanci in 2013.
CPPA President Steve Loomis sent the following announcement to WKYC Channel 3 on Wednesday afternoon:
Today, the Board of Directors of the CPPA voted to endorse Zack Reed for Mayor of the City of Cleveland. Councilman Reed has been consistent in his concern for rising violent crime rates and the need to improve police staffing levels in Cleveland, while the current administration has neither acknowledged nor addressed these issues.
For instance the Division of Police is currently 163 active police officers and 28 dispatchers below BUDGETED staffing levels with no relief in sight. This type of leadership exposes officers and law-abiding citizens to unnecessary risk and has a dramatic impact on everyone's quality of life.
Steve Loomis, PresidentCleveland Police Patrolmen's Association
Public safety is one of Reed's bedrock issues in the upcoming election. On his website, Reed writes, "I pledge to hire 400 new police officers to be utilized specifically for community based policing. These men and women will patrol neighborhoods where they are needed most.
We will place surveillance cameras throughout the City of Cleveland starting in neighborhoods with the highest rates of crime and violence. Crime and the perception of crime keeps neighborhoods from reaching their fullest potential."
There has long been tension between Jackson and Loomis. In March, the CPPA President blamed 'city management' for allowing chaos at the I-X Center to get out of hand during the annual Indoor Amusement Park. Loomis also accused Jackson of 'dereliction of duty' for failing to ensure officers were properly trained and equipped for last year's Republican National Convention.
Wednesday marks the first day of absentee voting for the general election on Nov. 7.