City of Cleveland Daily News Updates - #316

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The City of Cleveland continues to take numerous precautions across multiple departments and divisions amid increasing cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). Below are some important updates. Mayor Frank G. Jackson signed an order on Feb. 24, 2021 extending the City’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency through March 31, 2021Click here to view the order. Essential services such as Police, Fire, EMS, waste collection and Utilities will remain operational. 

Mayor Jackson Swears in Director of Community Development

On March 18, Mayor Jackson swore in Michiel Wackers as the Director of the Department of Community Development. Wackers has been serving as Interim Director of Community Development since November 5, 2020. He began service with the City of Cleveland as the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Community Development Department in December 2016. Wackers was sworn in as Assistant Director of Community Development in July 2018. Click here to view his headshot. View a photo from the swearing-in ceremony here.

Prior to joining the City of Cleveland, he worked with the City of Middletown, Connecticut for 13 years and ultimately served as Director of Planning, Conservation and Development. Wackers has experience in many aspects of community development including creating and managing projects.

Wackers received his Master of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy from City University of New York. He also received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Elon University. He holds an American Institute of Certified Planners certification from the American Planning Association.

Emergency Medical Service Graduates Five New EMTs and Paramedics

On Thursday, March 18, 2021, Mayor Frank G. Jackson swore in five new Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics to help serve neighborhood residents. The five EMTs who were sworn in include 1 African-American female, 2 Caucasian males, 1 Hispanic male and 1 male whose background was not disclosed. The new EMTs will enhance the staffing levels of the Cleveland Emergency Medical Service.

As a reminder, The City of Cleveland is currently accepting applications for the position of Emergency Medical Technician.  The application period runs until March 28, 2021 at 11:59pm.  Starting salary is $15.00 per hour with opportunity for advancement.  Apply here. Call 216-623-5233 with questions.

In addition, The City of Cleveland is currently accepting applications for the position of Safety Telephone Operator.  The application period runs until March 26, 2021 at 11:59pm.  Starting salary is $15.00 per hour with opportunity for advancement.  Apply here. Call 216-623-5233 with questions.

Three Cleveland Police Officers Suspended Following Internal Affairs Investigation

Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard announces that three Cleveland Police Officers have been suspended without pay following an internal investigation which began after it was discovered that an officer used excessive force during the course of an arrest. Patrol Officer John Petkac, 30, was terminated from employment on December 21, 2020 as a result of the investigation.

An internal investigation was conducted by the Cleveland Division of Police, Internal Affairs Unit. Findings of the investigation were forwarded to the Chief of Police for review and then submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Safety for final discipline. Director Howard determined that the officers committed violations from inaccurate reporting, negligent duty and failure to intervene. The officers received suspensions within the range of 14-30 days.

Patrol Officer Patrick Valencic, 30, was hired in 2015. Patrol Officer Michael Cozart II, 33, was hired in 2014. Patrol Officer Richard Delvecchio, 28, was hired in 2014.

All three officers were assigned to the Third District at the time the incident occurred. The suspensions will be effective beginning on the officers’ next tour of duty. Read the disciplinary letters for ValencicCozart and Delvecchio.

In addition to the termination of Patrol Officer Petkac, six other officers were disciplined prior to the three listed above: Lieutenant Brian Chetnik, 48, was hired in 1998. Detective Andrew Hayduk, 39, was hired in 2009. Patrol Officer Antonio Muniz, 49, was hired in 2009. Patrol Officer Allen Nagy, 47, was hired in 2013.  Patrol Officer Rashawn Rahim, 29, was hired in 2014. Patrol Officer Darryl Turner, 36, was hired in 2015. 

Limited Number of Vaccines Available to Eligible Cleveland Residents at East Tech and Estabrook

The Cleveland Department of Health will have a limited number of first-dose COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines available for Cleveland residents who meet eligibility requirements as determined by the State of Ohio. These vaccines will be available at two vaccine clinics next week as follows:

  • Wednesday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at East Tech High School
  • Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Estabrook Rec Center

For registration, eligibility and more, view our flyer both in English and in Spanish.

Battery Park Avenue Extension Project; West 73rd Street to West 70th Street (City of Cleveland – Ward 15)

Beginning Monday, March 29, 2021, City of Cleveland, Division of Engineering & Construction will begin construction of the sewer improvements included in the Battery Park Avenue Extension Project. This work will take place on West 73rd Street just south of Father Frascati which will necessitate the closure of  West 73rd Street between Father Frascati and Marina Court.

Detour of traffic on West 73rd Street will be as follows:

  • Northbound traffic will be detoured to westbound Battery Park Avenue to northbound West 74th Street to eastbound Father Frascati.
  • Southbound traffic will be detoured to westbound Father Frascati to southbound West 74th Street to eastbound Battery Park Avenue.
  • Intersections and driveway access along West 73rd Street will be maintained at all times.

Road closure and detour signs will be placed on either end of the construction during the week of March 22, 2021 informing the public of the impending construction work.

The Battery Park Extension construction is being administered by the City of Cleveland, Division of Engineering & Construction. Improvements include:

  • Construction of a 340 feet extension of Battery Park Avenue via a dedicated 60 foot wide public Right- Of- Way to connect West 73rd Street and West 70th Street.
  • The roadway extension includes construction of two 10’ vehicular travel lanes with 8’ wide parallel parking and 5’sidewalks on both sides of the street.
  • ADA-compliant curb ramps and crosswalks will be installed at intersections with West 73rd Street and West 70th Street.
  • The chicane shape of the new street and curb bumpouts will slow traffic and increase safety.
  • Underground electrical conduit banks will be installed along Battery Park Avenue and the West side of West 70th Street together with appurtenant vaults and new LED light poles.
  • New 8”ductile iron pipe water main will be installed along Battery Park Avenue.
  • New underdrains and drainage facilities will be installed on Battery Park Avenue.
  • Overhead power lines and power poles will be removed and new LED light poles will be installed on the west side of West 70th Street approximately 800 feet north from intersection with Battery Park Avenue extension.

The work on this project will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5p.m. The sewer work on West 73rd Street will be completed by April 30, 2021.

Questions? Contact the City of Cleveland Engineering & Construction Inspector David McKinney at or at 216-857-7638.

Editor’s Note: Road construction invariably presents hazards to the public. All travelers are urged to use caution in construction zones. Public safety and the safety of workers is a top priority.

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