Council authorizes agreement with area police departments

by Dan Holland

Dec. 18 city council meeting

Members of Broadview Heights City Council passed a resolution Dec. 18 authorizing the city’s police department to continue in a memorandum of understanding with six area departments, including Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, North Royalton, Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills, for shared investigation services.  

The agreement, headed by the Parma Police Department, allows for the sharing of mobile forensics services in cases in which the department needs to unlock a cellphone or other electronic device for investigative purposes. It also requires each agency to share in the cost of the services provided by Cellebrite and GrayKey at an annual cost of $4,000.

“We use it quite a bit. In any case where we’ve needed information from a device, it has helped us a lot in our investigations,” explained Broadview Heights Police Detective Ryan Fewell by phone. “It puts it in a format that we can scroll through to see photos, text messages and location data. We have used the service for any kind of crime imaginable – sexual assaults, drive-by shootings, drug trafficking, even sometimes in overdose deaths – to get information to the family.”

The service often serves as an aid in solving crimes in other cities, Fewell added. “I’ve written quite a few search warrants – quite a few that were consent searches – and it’s allowed us to solve a number of crimes,” he said. “Sometimes, with people who are committing crimes all over – burglaries or break-ins – when we get that information, it will sometimes implicate them in other crimes outside of our city. We’ll use Parma on a fleeing and eluding, but when we go through the phone, we find text conversations about other criminal activity, and then we can pass that along to other agencies.”

In other action, council approved:

  • An agreement to participate in the Cuyahoga County Contract with United Survey for sewer maintenance in the city.
  • An agreement to enter into an agreement with Software Solutions for annual software support in 2024 at a cost of $31,498.
  • An agreement with BPI Information systems for IT support hours, managed backup IT services, IT management services, licenses and equipment at a total cost of $77,654.
  • An amendment allowing  Sunday garage sales with a permit from the city, from June 1 through Sept. 30, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.