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Crime focus of Euclid Ward 2 meeting

News-Herald - 9/2/2023

Sep. 2—Around 30 residents and community leaders met recently at Euclid City Hall to go over the current state of Euclid'sWard 2.

The main focus for residents was crime.

Many at the Aug. 30 meeting stated that they felt concerned about their perceived rise in crime in the city.

On hand to address that and to teach residents about how the court system works was Euclid Municipal Court Judge Patrick Gallagher who went over the workings of guidelines for sentencing and how Ohio'sConstitution dictates minimum and maximum sentencing guidelines.

"I can tell you that it's in my estimation that upwards of 85-90% of the criminal defendants that come before me qualify for a public defender," Gallagher said. "That means they are generally earning less than $2,000 dollars a month. So again, a lot of the crime, a lot of the offenses that come before us are more a result of poverty than criminal intent."

Gallagher went on to say how he is cautious to send defendants to community service, as that may impact their ability to maintain employment.

"I do oppose community service in some cases," he said. "The reality is that a lot of the people that are coming before me, if they are not at work, they are not being paid. If they are not at work, it's going to be a no call no show, and they will be terminated.

"So, for me to require them to take days out of their work to do community service, it means they are likely to lose their job."

Councilman Richard Tolton who organized the meeting said the goal was to introduce different organizations to each other and the public to increase communication between residents and the organizations that serve them.

"Maybe we could try and plug them into some of our other efforts in reducing crime," Tolton said. "I think it's a very good program, and we need to have all hands on deck in trying to fight some these issues that's going on especially in our young people."

During the meeting, city Economic Development Division Manager Callie Cripps went over some undergoing and planned renovations that businesses in Ward 2 are doing.

Also, leaders with reNOUNce deNOUNce Gang Intervention program went over what their program is doing to help address youth gang violence within Euclid and surrounding areas.


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