Monitoring Team Recommends Approval of Bias-Free Policing Policy

As required by Paragraphs 35 through 44 of the Consent Decree, the City of Cleveland, on behalf of the Cleveland Division of Police, submitted a proposed Bias-Free Policing Policy (General Police Order 1.07.08) to the Monitor.

After carefully reviewing the Policy, the Monitoring Team determined that it provides sufficiently clear guidelines around, among other things: (1) the Division’s expectations for its members around bias-free policing; (2) the principles of procedural justice in police-civilian interactions; and (3) protocols to report bias-based policing.  Further, it advances equitable and bias-free policing principles that will support both the Division and the communities that the Division serves.

Consistent with the Decree's requirements, the Cleveland Community Police Commission ("CPC") was substantially involved in the development of the Bias-Free Policing Policy. The CPC’s efforts to gather feedback from a broad spectrum of the Cleveland community were considerable, with 14 total town hall meetings held across the city. This process of community involvement reflects the kind of upfront, democratic engagement of the community on substantive policing policies that the Consent Decree envisions—where policies and expectations for officers are actively discussed across Cleveland’s communities before and as they are formulated.

While the Monitoring Team recommends approval of CDP's new policy, it understands that no one policy or piece of paper can, by itself, address concerns, experiences, or histories involving inequity, discrimination, bias, or disparate treatment.  The Division is not considering this policy to be a “magic pill.”  Instead, the Proposed Policy exists as one building block that sets forth clear expectations about CDP’s values and rules of conduct.

Read more about the Bias-Free Policing Policy here.