Monitor Submits Proposed New CPD Mission Statement to Court

The Consent Decree (the “Decree”) between the United States and City of Cleveland (the “City”) that addresses the Cleveland Division of Police (“CPD” or the “Division”) requires that CPD “ensure that its mission statement reflects its commitment to community oriented policing.” Consent Decree ¶ 28. “One of the first major tasks under the First-Year Monitoring Plan was the required development of an updated mission statement for CPD.” First Semiannual Report at 28.

After an intensive process that featured extensive, direct involvement from numerous officer and community stakeholders, including Cleveland residents, the Monitor recommended that the Court approve CPD's new mission statement.

Read the mission statement and the Monitor's recommendation to the Court here.

Monitoring Team Files Results of Biennial Community Survey with Court

The Consent Decree requires that the Monitor “conduct a reliable, comprehensive, and representative survey of members of the Cleveland community regarding their experiences with and perceptions of CDP and of public safety” every two years, with “the results of this survey . . . included in the outcome assessments” also required by the Decree.  Consent Decree ¶ 361.  The Monitoring Team previously updated the Court on the process used to secure the firm of ISA to conduct the initial scientific community survey.

Today, the Monitoring Team submitted ISA's report on the results of the initial community survey to the Court.  The report can be found here.

Community Review of Proposed New CPD Mission Statement Underway

As a part of the implementation of the current Consent Decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice, the City of Cleveland Division of Police (“CPD”) is revising its Mission Statement – and the reform process is asking for input from Cleveland resident.  

The goal of a mission statement is to define the core values and goals of an organization.  The Consent Decree requires that CPD ensure that its mission statement reflects its commitment to community oriented policing and adequately reflect and promote the values of the Cleveland community.  After receiving input from the Community Police Commission (“CPC”) and its officers, the Division of Police is currently proposing that the following be adopted as its new mission statement:

“The mission of the Cleveland Division of Police is to serve as guardians of the Cleveland community by enforcing the law, maintaining order, and protecting the lives, property, and rights of all people, as guided by the Constitution.  We shall carry out our duties with a reverence for human life in partnership with members of the community through professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence in policing.”

You can read more about mission statements, and review examples of other police department mission statements, here.

Provide your input directly to the reform process and Monitoring Team here.

Consent Decree Process Seeks Feedback on Body-Worn Camera Policies

You may have heard on the news that many police departments are using body-worn cameras to record their interactions with the public. The City of Cleveland Division of Police ("CPD") has started to use cameras. As a part of the implementation of the current Consent Decree agreement between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice, the Monitoring Team needs input from the Cleveland community about their views on how the cameras should be used.  All survey responses are completely anonymous.

Read a short summary of the Division's policy on body-worn cameras here.

Take the survey HERE.

Monitoring Team Accepting Bids for Consent Decree-Required Community Survey

The Monitoring Team is seeking proposals from firms and organizations skilled in public opinion research to conduct a comprehensive survey of public opinion about the Cleveland Division of Police.  The firm will: (1) assist in the design of the tool and/or methodology; (2) conduct the survey and/or focus groups; and (3) provide detailed analysis of the results of surveys and/or focus groups in a report.

Interested bidders can review the Team's RFP here.  Final Proposals should be submitted electronically by 5:00pm Eastern on March 3, 2016 to:

Monitoring Team Files First-Year Monitoring Plan with Court

On February 1, the Monitor submitted its First-Year Monitoring Plan to the Court for its review.  The City of Cleveland, United States, and Cleveland Division of Police have collaborated closely and effectively with the Monitor to produce a process or framework for effectively and efficiently implementing the Agreement’s requirements.  

Feedback and comment on previous drafts of this plan from community stakeholders, such as the Community Police Commission, and community members and groups at large have been directly incorporated into the final Plan submitted here.  

Because the Plan sets aggressive but realistic goals, deadlines, and milestones for complying with the requirements of the Agreement while ensuring that individuals and organizations across Cleveland’s diverse communities have a voice in the discussion of how police services are delivered, the Monitor and the Parties together respectfully requested that the Court approve the Plan

Read the Plan here.

Monitor's Statement on the Tamir Rice Decision


Federal Monitor Statement on Tamir Rice Decision

CLEVELAND, Ohio  (December 28, 2015) –  A number of community members have been asking the federal Monitor about his views on the Tamir Rice decision announced this afternoon.  Many want to know whether the Monitoring Team has a role in the decision to prosecute individuals involved in the incident.

Since being appointed in October 2015, we have met with a number of community organizations, leaders, and citizens from across Cleveland’s diverse communities.  We have heard the frustrations of many who believe that the community is not heard and has never had a seat at the table with respect to determining how they should be policed.

We have also spent significant time getting to know the Division’s officers, supervisors, command staff, and union leadership.  We have heard the concerns of CPD officers who genuinely want to engage in policing focused on community relationships and problem-solving rather than simply running from call to call or crisis to crisis.

The Consent Decree does not give the Monitor the ability to criminally prosecute officers or to oversee the county officials involved in such prosecution decisions.  Indeed, it prohibits the Monitor, as an agent of the federal court, from commenting on the merits of specifically identified cases, especially incidents that occurred before the decree was in place.

What the Decree does, however, is to provide a specific process, overseen by a federal court, for ensuring that the Cleveland Division of Police is fundamentally transformed in the future – by establishing ongoing, systemic accountability mechanisms that will aim to change how the police function and how the police and community interact.  This change will not happen overnight.  We will ensure that the community in all its forms and CPD have the conversations that are necessary to establish a new, shared vision of policing in Cleveland as the Consent Decree moves forward.


Monitoring Team Invites Collaboration and Comment on Draft Monitoring Plan

On Thursday, December 17, the Monitor and members of the Monitoring Team appeared before the Community Police Commission. The Team introduced to the commissioners and the public a draft of the Monitoring Plan that it is required to file with the federal court by February 1, 2016. The Plan covers the first year of monitoring, from February 1, 2016 through January 30, 2017.

The Consent Decree contains a number of major requirements and significant objectives.  Nothing in the proposed Monitoring Plan adds to or takes away from those.  Instead, the Plan is intended to provide a clear, unified structure and framework for the day-to-day and week-to-week efforts toward achieving substantial and effective compliance with the Decree.  It proposes a process, series of milestones, individual steps, and clear deliverables for achieving the Decree's requirements and objectives.  In doing so, the Plan seeks to provide clarity for all stakeholders from across the Cleveland community about what work is occurring, what issues are front and center at any given juncture, and what is expected during the upcoming year as we all work together to promote officer safety, public safety, and effective and constitutional policing in a manner that is consistent with the values of Cleveland’s diverse communities.

This draft Plan is just that: a preliminary, provisional plan for progress under the Consent Decree.  Between now and February 1, the Monitor is starting the process of doing police reform collaboratively, in the open, and with the goal of hearing as widely and substantively as possible from all stakeholders.  The Team invites the community to review the Plan closely and provide us with your feedback about its areas of focus, timelines for progress, and mechanisms for ensuring that all stakeholders have a seat at the table and a voice in reform of the Cleveland Division of Police.

Both general comments, related to values and goals, and specific comments, related to particular edits or requirements, are welcome and useful.

Provide your feedback and get the Plan here.