CLEVELAND — Wednesday marks the seventh month in office for Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb. He came to WKYC Studios for a one-on-one interview with our Russ Mitchell to talk about a range of topics.
The two discussed the ongoing issue of crime in the city as Cleveland has already surpassed 100 homicides for the year. Despite the high number of violent deaths, Bibb is convinced that the city is on the right track.
'We are seeing dramatic improvements in almost every major category of violent crime, despite the fact we're down 280 officers in our department," Bibb told Mitchell during their conversation.
Bibb pointed to several reasons why he is encouraged:
- Nearly every officer in the community is being required to walk the beat for at least an hour during first and second shifts. "You're seeing more visible patrols across the community," he said.
- Bibb believes his administration is laying down the foundation for a better culture within the Cleveland Division of Police. The city completed an agreement on a new contract with the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association which calls for pay increases for 2023 and 2024.
- The mayor is also confident in the Community Police Commission, created after Issue 24 was passed last year. He calls it the most "progressive policing agenda in America."
"Progress takes time, change does not happen overnight," Bibb added. "But I believe with the right investments and with our continued focus, we can make this one of the safest cities in America."
Watch more from Justin Bibb's interview with Russ Mitchell below: