Cleveland police chief says officer, community partnership will bring down murder rate

CLEVELAND - Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said he doesn't think policies need to be changed after 2012's increase in homicides.

The murder rate last year was at 97. That's up from the 75 homicides in 2011 and 72 in 2010, the city of Cleveland said.

 The chief of police stressed that officers cannot deal with this situation alone. McGrath same the community must help the police in preventing and solving crimes.

"A police department by itself without the partnership of the community, meaning the whole community, the schools, churches, mental health services. We are spinning our wheels because it's a generational thing," McGrath said.

He said violent TV shows, movie and video games that many young people watch are not helping. McGrath noted the high percentage of 15 to 28-year-olds who are suspects or victims in homicides.

"The community as a whole has to say enough. Enough of this stuff," McGrath said.

David Jackson, who lives on the city's northeast side, which saw 30 murders in 2012, wondered if more beat cops would help curb the violence.

"What are they going to do about all the murders, robberies and the vacant homes the drug dealers are using," Cleveland resident Edith Burns said.

McGrath said he already requires his officers to get out patrol cars and hit the streets, but admitted they could do better.

"They have to get out of the cars… you have to get out and know the people in the area," McGrath said.

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