A Message from Chief Calvin D. Williams

A Message from Chief Calvin D. Williams  

Recently, it has come to my attention there are those who believe the safety of our officers is not paramount to the Cleveland Division of Police and to the City of Cleveland, and this could not be further from the truth.  

It has also come to my attention that many believe that our officers operate under a “no chase policy.”  This also could not be further from the truth. I want to make it clear that Cleveland police officers are authorized to and will pursue suspects wanted for crimes of violence and for OVI related offenses. 

The current policies of the Cleveland Division of police regarding vehicle pursuits give officers very specific guidance pertaining to when vehicle pursuits are appropriate and authorized. To be clear, vehicle pursuits are not authorized in cases of nonviolent crimes. Our officers will not become engaged in vehicle pursuits solely relating to property crimes.  Chasing suspects at high rates of speed in vehicles solely to recover property is not only inappropriate, but it puts the lives of our residents and our officers in danger unnecessarily. 

Officers are authorized to conduct vehicle pursuits in order to take violent suspects or intoxicated drivers into custody.  This most certainly includes suspects who have committed violence, including attempting to harm our police officers. 

The pursuit policies of the Cleveland Division of Police are detailed and follow best practice. The policies are in effect to protect the lives of officers and citizens alike. Taking violent offenders off of our streets is equally important and our officers shall conduct vehicle pursuits when this action is appropriate.  

Since I became Chief, I have been committed to providing the best police services to the citizens of Cleveland while providing the highest level of training possible to ensure the safety of our officers. This commitment has not changed.