INVESTIGATOR | Union alleges city derelict, cops unready for RNC

CLEVELAND - The leader of the Cleveland police union is accusing Mayor Frank Jackson of dereliction of duty for failing to ensure officers are properly trained and equipped for the Republican National Convention.

Steve Loomis, the union’s outspoken leader, said Wednesday that he intends to put his accusations in writing and send a letter to Jackson and police department leaders.

Loomis said the union will “hold the city responsible” for any officer injuries, lost or damaged property or civil liabilities as a result of the city's lack of training or preparedness.

Loomis has contended for months that the city is poorly prepared for the rush of tens of thousands of demonstrators and counter-protests expected for the RNC in July.

The union chief’s comments come on the same day city leaders and the U.S. Secret Service issued assurances that the city was ready for the convention.

Meanwhile, other Cleveland police sources have told Channel 3 News investigative reporter Tom Meyer that officers are also concerned about the reliability of police department radios.

One officer called the system “unstable.”

Sources also say CPD won't use tear gas to control unruly protestors, which could approach 100,000 people.

Instead, police will rely on smoke devices, which officers say creates a cloud and restricts visibility.

Officers in Cleveland contend their federal training program took place at least nine months after officers in Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party convention will be held a week after the RNC in Cleveland.

Philadelphia police union officials did not immediately respond for comment.

A Cleveland spokesman also did not immediately respond for comment.


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