Cleveland Community Police Commission Plans to Hire Staff

Community police commission members take an oath of office in 2015.
Community police commission members take an oath of office in 2015. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
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by Nick Castele

Cleveland’s community police commission is hiring.

Members of the group are asking for funding in the city budget to pay for staff. They answered questions from city council at a hearing on Wednesday.

Commission co-chairs want to hire someone to manage the group’s day-to-day operations. They also plan hire an administrative assistant. The group wants to bring on a policy analyst to help develop recommendations for the police department. A community engagement staffer would collect public feedback. The commission also may hire a fifth staff member to assist.

These new employees’ salaries, plus other expenses, all amount to a $755,000 line item in Cleveland’s half-billion-dollar operating budget. Members of the commission are unpaid, co-chair Mario Clopton told council.

The commission members were named in September as part of the consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department to recommend changes to police policies and procedures.  

Commission members are developing the job descriptions, and Clopton said he hopes the group will start hiring soon.

Clopton, who’s also a high school music teacher, reminded council the body is just starting out its four-year term.

“In teaching terms, we are in the second semester of our freshman year,” Clopton said. “And while it’s been a busy and contentious, at times, first semester, when you start an organization from scratch there are bound to be those issues.”

One issue the commission faces right now: how to appoint a replacement for Max Rodas, who resigned from the 13-member body, citing its workload.

Commission members were appointed by a selection panel. Cleveland’s law director said the group could be reconvened to name a new member. Safety Committee Chair Matt Zone asked the city to start that process. 

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