Cleveland police union strikes back after councilman critiques '300-pounder' cop
Councilman’s comment stemmed from PD’s demand for riot gear that properly fit officers
By PoliceOne Staff
CLEVELAND — A police union fired off a letter after a councilman critiqued officers over their weight, FOX 8 reported.
A picture that was supposed to bring awareness to ill-fitting riot gear incidentally sparked interest in the officer pictured. Chief Calvin Williams told the news site the gear officers need for the upcoming Republican National Convention doesn’t fit but Councilman Mike Polensek didn’t agree.
“Quite frankly I don't know what a 300-pounder is doing on the Cleveland Police Department," Polensek said during a safety committee meeting Wednesday.
Union President Steve Loomis immediately wrote a letter expressing his anger at Polensek’s comments and the failings of the city to pass a physical fitness incentive for recruits.
“Your comments were callous and unprofessional,” Loomis said in letter obtained by FOX 8. “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 [sic] of receiving riot gear that will fit him.”
Loomis also defended the officer pictured while decrying leadership.
“The officer you publicly maligned is a decorated and senior police officer that has devoted his life to this city,” Loomis said. “The smoke and mirrors leadership we have unfortunately grown far too accustomed to in this city is going to fail us all. We need help, not jokes.”
During the same meeting Wednesday, Williams and a Secret Service agent told officials the city is prepared for the RNC.
"This has been a multi-year process for them and we are prepared for this," Agent Ronald Rowe Jr. told the news site.