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Cleveland Makes Progress on Use-of-Force, Crisis Training, but Lags on Handling Complaints

photo of Cleveland police

The federal monitoring team overseeing the police consent decree in Cleveland released its fourth progress report today.

The city’s accomplishments include training for all officers on new use-of-force and crisis intervention policies. And the city is close to completing its new bias-free policing policies. But the backlog of civilian complaints may have actually grown since the last time the Cleveland officials appeared in court. 

According to the monitor, there are about 380 open civilian complaint cases against Cleveland police officers. The monitor’s office has found more since the last hearing in U.S. District Court because the city’s Office of Professional Standards incorrectly closed an unknown number of cases.

Judge Solomon Oliver told the city during a November hearing that more intrusive measures might be needed if the backlog isn’t cleared. Cleveland officials said at this hearing that the process for handling cases is being overhauled. A new administrator is being sought, outside investigators will be hired and progress should be made within six months.