CLEVELAND -- With the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day weekend, in the rear-view mirror, Cleveland safety officials are urging the city's residents to help keep the city safe this summer.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, Fire Chief Patrick Kelly and EMS Acting Commissioner Nicole Carlton each addressed several incidents over the holiday weekend in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Each stressed the need for community residents to report incidents quickly and to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Chief Williams was especially adamant, emphasizing that a great deal of violence can be prevented by calling police before a situation escalates.
Officials discussed details of some of the major violent events over the weekend causing public outcry, including a car going over a cliff at Edgewater Park, homicides in the city including one involving shots fired into a crowd of hundreds at an east side block party, and a disturbing case of a suspected homicide involving a person set on fire.
Also during the press conference, Chief Kelly shared some common-sense fire safety tips. He reminds everyone not to grill on a porch, close to the house. He also said to check to ensure smoke detectors are working properly inside of your home.
Another big challenge facing large urban areas like Cleveland is vacant homes. These can be hot beds for theft and fires. Kelly called on Clevelanders to keep a watchful eye on these vacant homes and alert authorities to suspicious activity around them.
Commissioner Carlton talked about the benefits of prevention and reiterated the importance of reporting incidents early.
Officials emphasized positive strides being made in public safety, while underscoring the community's vital role in advancing that goal.