The Community Police Commission voted to approve its budget at its community meeting at the Frederick Douglass Recreation Center on Feb. 8, 2022.
The Community Police Commission voted to approve its budget at its community meeting at the Frederick Douglass Recreation Center on Feb. 8, 2022. Credit: Erin Woisnet for Signal Cleveland

Cleveland residents have until the end of this week to provide feedback on the Community Police Commission plan outlining the work the group will focus on for the next 18 months. 

In 2021, voters approved a charter amendment known as Issue 24, which created the new Community Police Commission. It has final say on police discipline cases and officer policies. It marks a significant change in how police in Cleveland are disciplined, giving it more power than previous community police commissions. 

The commission has outlined projects it wants to focus on and has created working groups for some of the projects.

Community members can join a working group to share their thoughts. The deadline to fill out a form providing feedback on the plan is this Friday, Sept. 8. 

The projects include seven working groups and several other projects that one of four committees will tackle.

Commission Co-chair Jan McCullough-Ridgeway said even if residents don’t serve on a work group, they should share any information they think is important for the groups to consider. 

“It must be citizen-driven,” she said. “And the reform process is about the whole community’s engagement.”

Commissioners will focus on 24 projects divided into four committees.

Here are some of those projects:

One working group will create a database of Cleveland officers on the Brady/Giglio list. Commonly known as the Brady list, it includes officers that have cases of police misconduct, public complaints, or use-of-force reports that could potentially impeach their character as a witness in a criminal case. 

The commission also created a sexual misconduct and gender-based violence task force. Members will analyze reported cases of sexual harassment incidents between police and community members. 

A surveillance tech work group will work to understand and create policies for the technology the police department uses. 

A use of force work group will host an event where people learn about the Cleveland Division of Police’s use of force training and provide feedback. 

The commission’s four committees – police investigations, discipline and accountability; policy; training; and outreach –  will also work through other goals including:

  • Coming up with an approach to analyzing police discipline and determining whether it is fair and consistent. 
  • Understanding how officers’ union contracts will affect the increased power the new commission has.
  • Understanding and explaining how internal and external police investigations work. Making the process more transparent for the commissioners and the community. 
  • Making recommendations for the inspector general position to the city. Understanding what skills, expertise and experience the position requires.
  • Evaluating police crisis response.
  • Working with the police department and the city to create a recruitment and retention policy that is bias-free.
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Criminal Justice Reporter (she/her)
Stephanie, who covered criminal justice and breaking news at the Chicago Tribune, is a bilingual journalist with a passion for storytelling that is inclusive and reflects the diversity of the communities she covers. She has been a reporter and copy editor for local newspapers in South Dakota, Kansas and Arizona. Stephanie is also a Maynard 200 alumni, a Maynard Institute for Journalism Education training program for journalists of color that focuses on making newsrooms more equitable, diverse and anti-racist.