Update for November 4, 2014: The Continuing Effort to Reduce False Alarms

The Challenge Continues

During the first 10 months of 2014, police responded to 19,297 alarm assignments. 9,293 of those assignments were for a business and 10,004 were for a residential property. Of those 19,297 alarm assignments, 19,006 (98.5%) proved to be false.  When police spend valuable time responding to false alarms, citizens with legitimate safety needs had to sit and wait.

During the 5-year period between 2009 and 2013, Cleveland police officers responded to 119,288 alarm assignments. Responding officers found no evidence of criminal or attempted criminal activity in 97.42 percent of those responses.  That trend is continuing in 2014.

False Alarm Responses January 1 through October 31, 2014

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*The variance between response requested and dispatched was caused by alarm monitoring companies calling police communications and cancelling a call before police arrival.

Policing is expensive

The salary costs of deploying two uniformed police officers in a police car, 24 hours a day, seven days a week is $728,980.56 per year.  This quarter-million dollar cost does not include overtime, which averages out to about $10,000 per year per officer, nor the cost of the vehicle, fuel and maintenance, specialized police equipment in the vehicle (radio, computer, automated vehicle locators), or the officer’s body armor, supplies, firearms, and hand-held radios.

Assistant Director of Public Safety Tim Hennessy stated that the total cost of deploying one 2-officer police car in the neighborhoods of the City of Cleveland ‘approaches one million dollars annually.’ Most would agree that we have a collective duty and responsibility to ensure our officers are deployed in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  Chasing false alarms, most caused by human error, isn’t effective, efficient or smart.

Cleveland City Council introduced legislation earlier this year to establish requirements for alarms companies and to create sanctions for repeated false alarms.  The Cleveland Division of Police will continue to work with Cleveland City Council to review and improve amended legislation and find an effective solution that makes the best use of our police resources.

—- Martin L. Flask, Executive Assistant to the Mayor for Special Projects

 

City of Cleveland Announces Big City Boo 2014

On Friday, October 31st, from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, the City of Cleveland will host “Big City Boo” in the City’s 22 recreational centers. This annual event provides a safe alternative to trick-or treating for Cleveland’s children. Parents, guardians and caregivers can take their children, 12 and under, to the City’s recreation centers for games, contests and other family friendly activities plus Halloween treats.

Residents can contact their neighborhood recreation centers for more information. All of these events are free and open to the public.  Those who choose to collect candy in their neighborhoods on October 31st should do so during the designated time of 6 PM – 8 PM.

Listed below are recommendations for a safe Halloween:

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  • Adults should accompany young children – older children should travel in groups.
  • Children should wear light colored clothing short enough to prevent tripping.
  • Add reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Make sure children can see through their masks or use make-up.
  • Avoid hard plastic or wooden props such as daggers or swords – instead use foam or other soft and flexible materials.
  • Carry and use a flashlight after dark.
  • Visit homes within your own neighborhood – homes that you know with lights on.
  • Never go into deserted buildings or isolated areas.
  • Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, or alleys.
  • Be alert for vehicle traffic; never approach a parked car; move away from a car that pulls up next to you.
  • If someone is following you, go quickly to the nearest occupied public place (mall, store, recreation center, gas station, fire station etc.) and scream for help.
  • Only give and accept wrapped or packaged candy.
  • Parents should examine all candy before allowing children to eat it and report anything suspicious to the police.
  • Keep costumed children away from pets who may become frightened.

 

 

 

Cleveland Division of Fire and American Red Cross to Conduct “Fire Safety Walk”

As part of Fire Prevention Week and Operation Save-A-Life, the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Division of Fire will be conducting a Fire Safety Walk this Thursday, October 9th.

During this walk, members of the Division of Fire and the American Red Cross will be installing smoke alarms in the homes of neighborhood residents on Farringdon and Gay Avenues, between E. 116th and E. 124th Streets.

firetruckcolor drawing filterSince its inception in 1992, Operation Save-a-Life has helped install almost 150,000 smoke alarms in residences in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid and South Euclid.

The program has helped reduce fire fatalities in the City of Cleveland from 28 (in 1992) to 8 (in 2013).  The program is made possible through the generosity of local corporations and foundations which support the $94,451 program budget.

What: Fire Alarm Installation Walk

When: Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Time: 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm (volunteers to meet at Chapter/DOC at noon)

Where: 44120 Zip Code (Identified area by NHQ)  Farringdon and Gay Avenues (between E. 116th and E. 124th Streets)