The City of Cleveland, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Community Police Commission, United States Department of Justice, and the Court-appointed federal monitoring team are all asking for community feedback on the CPD's proposed new Use of Force policy, and some other related policies.
The Consent Decree between the United States and City of Cleveland requires, among other things, that the Cleveland Division of Police ("CPD") "revise, develop, and implement force policies . . . with the goal of ensuring that force is used in accordance with the Constitution." (Consent Decree ¶ 45.)
Early in the reform process, the Community Police Commission ("CPC") convened a series of community forums and listening sessions. They prepared an in-depth report that summarized the experiences, history, views, values, and interests of Cleveland's diverse communities with respect to force. At the same time, the Division of Police gathered input, experiences, and feedback from CPD officers on the use of force policies, also preparing an in-depth summary report of what was heard. Subsequently, CPD set to work on revising the Division's use of force policy to be both consistent with the Consent Decree's requirements and the values of the community.
We have now come to the point where it is time for community feedback on the specific Use of Force and related policies that have resulted from this process. The Consent Decree stakeholders are all aiming to work together to solicit and receive input on these policies from the Cleveland community.
The policies are not yet final. Instead, they reflect CPD's efforts to date to create a policy that complies with the Consent Decree. None of the Court, Monitor, City, or Department of Justice have yet signed off on or approved the policies. That will happen only after the community engagement process. Indeed, these policies are likely to change further as community feedback is directly incorporated.
The development of the policies is far enough along, however, that community input is timely and necessary.