Cleveland, Justice Department to Update Judge on Police Consent Decree Progress
by Nick Castele
Attorneys for the city of Cleveland and the Justice Department are set to update a federal judge Thursday on their progress in implementing the city’s police reform agreement.
Judge Solomon Oliver has asked both parties to discuss whether they’re meeting the deadlines laid out in the consent decree—and whether they’ve hit any roadblocks. This court appearance comes more than seven months after Oliver approved the consent decree.
So far, the city has formed a community police commission and hired a team of consultants to monitor the decree. The judge asked the monitors to discuss their plan for the first year, and to share public input they’ve received.
The city formed a mental health advisory board, and a new class of police cadets has received crisis intervention training.
As of December, Cleveland was developing the job description for the newly-formed position of inspector general, according to court filings.
There have been some delays. A charter amendment changing the police review board was supposed to appear on the March primary ballot. Now it’s being pushed back to the November election, Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone said at a Wednesday committee meeting.
Judge Oliver also granted a three-month extension on another element of the plan. The Community Police Commission now has until March to evaluate “bias-free policing” measures. These would track and prohibit profiling based on race, gender or other attributes.
The commission has been holding public meetings on the issue.