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CLEVELAND, OH -
A 19 Action News investigation has found, many Cleveland Police officers involved in a massive, deadly chase last November claimed they had little or no pursuit training.
We reviewed 654 pages of the disciplinary files for the officers hit with administrative charges for breaking departmental rules.
Many claimed they only had chase training as rookies in the police academy, "do not remember any", or have a "limited understanding" of the city's pursuit policy.
So we asked the chief, "Why did we see so many officers in their statements say they had no training or little training for pursuits?" He answered, "That's their opinion."
This year, all city officers are going through training just for pursuits. Officers can't remember the last time for that.
But the chief points out, officers know they can't just chase.
Most officers involved in the big chase last year did not get the ok and officers admitted, "you know you must ask permission."
"They need permission of the sector supervisor. So I don't know how many times I have to train them and say that. It's pretty clear," said Chief Michael McGrath.
The police union says the chase last fall blew up since officers thought someone had shot at a cop. But officers are now checking with bosses more often.
Records show police cars going up to 125 miles an hour.
And the training is book work. The chief admits the department is lacking in behind-the-wheel pursuit driving, but he says the city does not have a facility for it like a race track.
And one more thing has been added so that no other officers can argue they didn't really know the policy. They all have to take a test to show they know it.