Case Western Reserve University Police and University Circle Police are each looking to expand their territories.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police could get extra help patrolling neighborhoods near downtown.

“Because of the growth of this neighborhood. You know, it needs to be safer so people feel free, can walk around and not have to worry about me being robbed,” says Diana Fiore, who grew up near from Little Italy and now works here.

Over the years, she has seen an increase in crimes.

“Car break-ins. You know, if there’s change, there’s theft. And people’s cars are taken,” she said.

But changes could be coming soon, with more police patrolling uptown neighborhoods. However, the officers will not be members of the Cleveland Police Division. Instead, Case Western Reserve University and University Circle police are looking to expand their territories.

They are establishments. It’s big employers who do that. It’s not a taxpayer expense,” Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin said.

Little Italy is in the Griffin neighborhood. Further patrols would take place there and in the Glenville neighborhood near Wade Park, both on the outskirts of a bustling University Circle campus.

“They do it for their own benefit because they have students and they have institutions in this field that have multiple employees,” Griffin adds.

However, Griffin thinks the whole city will benefit from the extra help, as Cleveland Police Division officers may be moved elsewhere. At a safety committee meeting, Acting Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond agreed.

“I believe it’s a force multiplier. They have additional people with pretty much the same type of training as us,” Drummond explained.

Since the CWRU and UC Police are run by private institutions, this type of interdepartmental relationship is possible. Fiore says it doesn’t matter what uniform officers wear, as long as the neighborhoods are safe.

“It makes me happy because over the past two years there has been an increase in crime here,” she says.

The Cleveland City Council must pass an ordinance to allow departments to move further into city jurisdiction. But the legislation enjoys broad support and could go to a full vote as early as May 9.