CLEVELAND — To help fight crime plaguing the city, Governor Mike DeWine was in Cleveland on Monday to announce a grant to support the Real Time Crime Center, designed to help investigators solve crimes faster.
When violent crimes occur in Cleveland, investigators on the street are supposed to get immediate assistance from a group of criminal analysts in the city's Real Time Crime Center, where they are armed with computers and technology.
"This is something that we would like to see replicated around the state of Ohio," said DeWine, who announced a $355,000 grant to suport the center. He calls it a "force multiplier," that could help bring criminals to justice by giving police instant access to video and other data instantly.
"It enhances what police can see, it enhances what police can do," DeWine explaind.
However, the Real Time Crime Center has its problems. Mainly it's a staffing issue. The city says it works when operational, but it hasn't been properly staffed since opening in 2019.
"It’s our work and strategy to work with city council and our leadership in the police department to fully fund our real time crime center and make sure it’s working 24/7," Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb added.
The tecnnology itself also has issues, as some cameras are not operational. The city says it continues to add more.
Staffing is a problem across the Cleveland Division of Police. The department is down 222 officers and filling the gap isn't an easy fix. Local leaders and the governor hope technology improvements can help fill the gap.
"The grant is going to go a long way to make sure we have more technology to fight violent crime," Bibb stated. "And better intelligence to be more precise to fight crime where it exists."
One thing that was missing during Monday's briefing was data showing how much of a difference the Real TIme Crime Center has made thus far, considering it has been in operation for three years. It was made clear that spending on technology will continue to happen, with hints about license plate reader systems and even drone technology.
You can watch Monday's briefing in the player below: