Newly named Safety Director addresses Toledo’s violence
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo has tied its record number of homicides that was set in 2020. Now, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is preaching patience and shaking up some of the personnel on the safety side. Toledo’s soon-to-be outgoing fire chief will be the new safety director. Chief Brian Byrd says the focus won’t just be on law enforcement but how the entire community can help to hopefully curb things that potentially contribute to that homicide rate.
Byrd and his deputy Angel Tucker, who was an Oregon police officer, will not only oversee increases in the number of police officers and firefighters but look at larger issues that lead to violence. Byrd says you’ll see both in the community meeting with groups, seeing what steps they’re taking to address societal issues while seeing what’s working and what can be expanded or what’s lacking.
The I-Team asked both of them what sort of issues they see that are leading to the violence on the streets.
“Such as poverty, such as housing, such as people not feeling safe and not able to support their families because of the overall conditions going on not just in Toledo but across the country. When people are desperate, people do desperate things. So this is more than just TPD, it’s more than just Fire [department]. It’s more than any of just us. It has to be a community effort and there has to be some infrastructure in the communities in order to support these people that are having some of the problems that they’re having,” said Chief Byrd.
“The mental health that all of this takes. Not just upon our safety, our police officers, our fire but the communities it will affect as well. So I think that’s another key element we plan to address,” said Tucker.
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