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Law enforcement, political leaders discuss rise in youth violence throughout Cleveland

Leaders from the Cleveland area met at City Hall Wednesday to address the rise in juvenile violence.

CLEVELAND — Leaders from the Cleveland area spent three hours on Wednesday discussing the rise in violence that has been committed by juveniles.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley described the issue as "continuing chaos."

"We keep giving a foot, giving a foot and we keep giving a foot and at some point somebody's going to get killed," O'Malley said.

The prosecutor's office says juveniles are committing more carjackings, murders, and weapon offenses in the city of Cleveland.

O'Malley says the number of carjackings in Cleveland has risen for the last three years.

  • In 2019, there were 282.
  • in 2020, there were 355.
  • in 2021, there were 432.

"We have a very small number of people doing a lot of damage," O'Malley said.

Council members, including Joseph Jones from Ward 1, asked interim Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond to increase the presence of officers in neighborhoods to curb the violence.

"Just start driving around the neighborhood, you cut down on most of this stuff," Jones said.

The Cleveland Police Department is down 257 police officers, according to interim chief Drummond. On Monday, 25 new applicants will start their journey to become a police officer in the city.

The overall issue of violence committed by juveniles did not result in a concrete plan laid out by council members.

"Some message has to be sent to the people of the city of Cleveland that it's a safe place to be," councilmember Brian Kazy added.

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