Monitoring Team Files Baseline Assessment Report

The Consent Decree requires the Monitor to conduct qualitative and quantitative “outcome assessments” to measure whether implementing the reforms that the Decree requires ultimately results in safe, effective, and constitutional policing. The Monitoring Team’s First Semiannual Report introduced the importance of the assessments:

[T]he Decree requires that the Monitor assess whether the implementation of the Consent Decree’s reforms is contributing to the necessary outcomes of ensuring safe, effective, and constitutional policing consistent with Cleveland’s values. Ultimately, these ‘outcome measurements’ explore whether implemented changes are having the actual effects across the Cleveland community that they are intended to have.

A notable feature of the Cleveland Consent Decree is its express inclusion of a host of specific outcome assessments that the Monitor must evaluate and track over time . . . .

First Semiannual Report at 70. Accordingly, the outcome measures, both qualitative and quantitative, aim to gauge, document, and tell the story of reform across the Division and the City of Cleveland over time. To do so, the Monitoring Team must first establish and capture baseline assessments to which future improvements will be measured.

The specific outcome measures to which the United States and City of Cleveland agreed in the Consent Decree address a host of areas, including: use of force; crisis intervention; stops, searches, and arrests; bias-free policing and community engagement; recruitment; officer training; officer assistance and support; supervision; civilian complaints; and internal investigations, and discipline. Running four pages in the Consent Decree, outcome measures related to these nine major areas are broken down into many particular measures, with each often associated with many sub-parts. In total, there are some approximately 471 discrete data points that the Consent Decree requires the Monitoring Team to assess annually.

To understand whether the Consent Decree is “result[ing] in constitutional policing,” Consent Decree ¶ 367, the Monitoring Team needs to understand where the City and Cleveland Division of Police (“CPD” or the “Division”) were when work on the Consent Decree began in earnest. Following the outline of paragraph 367, collecting appropriate baseline data for the quantitative items will allow the Monitoring Team and Court to understand whether the Consent Decree’s provisions are having the intended effect in the real world. Review of these data will occur annually and, in the case of the biennial survey, on alternate years.

You can read the Monitoring Team's full report to the Court on its baseline outcome measurements here.