Cleveland Monitoring Team Releases First Semiannual Report to Judge
The Cleveland Monitoring Team filed its first semi-annual report with Chief Judge Solomon Oliver.
In the 70-page report, the Cleveland Monitoring Team noted the areas the Cleveland Police Department has made some progress since the city settled with the US Justice Department last year and the appointment of the monitoring team in October.
As a part of the first-year monitoring plan, the team wrote "there has been tremendous progress toward core use of force policy that provides a specific direction when force can be used." Other areas of improvement include officer training, crisis intervention and creating a community policing commission.
Areas that need work are with the Office of Professional Standards, the civilian-led department that investigates citizen complaints and the Police and the Review Board that reviews the complaints. The team says it is unacceptable that there are more than two hundred incomplete cases in 2014 and 15.
Cleveland Marshall College of Law Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich says there was an attempt to revise their operation manual failed.
“The report says that revised manual was deficient in every way,” said Witmer-Rich. “So clearly, some focus needs to happen on this citizen complain board and significant changes need to happen quick for there to be any type of meaningful reform in that area. So that is an area people should keep an eye on.”
Another area of that the report says needs to improve is equipment and resources, which Witmer-Rich says will take time because that involves money.
The report states the focus for the next six month will include community and problem oriented policing, use of force and bias free policing.