Cleveland city council members grilled police officials this week during their safety committee meeting, about issues they seem to be having related to the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Some major concerns were addressed at Wednesday’s meeting– including whether or not the Cleveland Police Dept. will be prepared for the big event next month.
Police Chief Calvin Williams reassured them they would be, with 300-500 of his officers working the convention. US Secret Service will also be on-hand.
The issue that seemed to be on everyone’s mind though was a video that surfaced recently that showed officers trying on their new riot gear. FOX 8 obtained the video of the officers getting into the gear– which they will wear while serving on the front lines during the RNC.
“I saw the same picture with the 300-pounder and quite frankly I don’t know what a 300-pounder is doing on the Cleveland Police Department,” said councilman Mile Polensek.
“That’s something for you to figure out…. that was very embarrassing,” he added.
The police chief told council members he would have a “personal one-on-one with that officer.”
Those comments by Polensek did not sit well with police union president Steve Loomis. Fox 8 obtained a copy of the letter he fired off following the upsetting comments made during the meeting.
“Your comments were callous and unprofessional. As you should know, our members range greatly in size, stature, and body types. We have a 6’7″, 270 lb. former pro football player that has NO CHANCE of receiving riot gear that will fit him”.
Loomis also said: “The officer you publicly maligned is a decorated and senior police officer that has devoted his life to this city”.
With only two sizes available – union leaders have complained that their larger officers are having a bit of trouble getting into the gear. Some other concerns officers have is not being able to wear their gun belts with the new gear.
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