Cleveland’s spiking gun violence crisis, what can be done to stop the bloodshed?

Published: Apr. 16, 2023 at 10:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Another violent weekend in Cleveland.

A man was shot and killed in a car in the Cudell neighborhood, and that’s the same neighborhood where two men and two teens were shot on Saturday, and over in Brooklyn Centre, two more people were shot.

Sadly, gun violence is spiking in the city, leaving the community desperate for answers.

There are no easy answers for the escalating gun violence crisis, that’s become the number 1 cause of death for children nationwide, even surpassing car accidents. Over a 10 days period in Cleveland from April 2 to April 12, a total of 8 children were shot, and one of them died. According to Cleveland Police, during that same 10 day period a total of 26 people were shot in the city, 3 of them fatally.

Shootings and killings from gun violence have become nearly a daily occurence in Cleveland, and many other large cities as well.

Jeff Follmer is the President of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association, and he says the city’s homicide rate is startling, “Nobody fights fair anymore. There’s no more fist fights, it’s all about guns. You know Cleveland is violent. We can’t get around that.”

In some cases, children are not only the victims of gun violence, but the suspects, and tragically it’s that type of violence that appears to rule the streets, one local counselor told 19 News, “Everybody wants to be feared, they think fear is the new form of respect when in all actuality it’s not, it just cause more danger.”

Long-time Cleveland City Council Michael Polensek, who is also the Chair of the Safety Committee says what’s worse, people seem so unphased by the gunfire that they often don’t even call police anymore. That’s why council has approved installing more Shot Spotter devices around the city. The technology immediately alerts police about where shots were fired.

Councilman Polensek says, “Now, we’re expanding it to 13 square miles in the city, just for that reason and we’re targeting those areas where we have the highest number of gunshots being recorded.”

The yearly cost of the new equipment $900,000. Originally, Shot Spotter was installed in three square miles of the Buckeye area.

Councilman Polensek also says with a large number of police retiring from the force, during a time when violence is high, and it’s getting more people to attend the academy, the community also has to lend a hand to address the violence problem. The goal hopefully to get more guns off the streets, and to help save lives, “It’s a sad commentary that for some reason people don’t want to call the police.”