Cleveland police are implementing sweeping changes in the wake of a Justice Department report one year ago that found a “pattern of excessive” force within the department.
Our year-long investigation brought to light specific, concrete examples of how training has failed and officers not held accountable in cases involving excessive force.
“Our goal is to have real reform that’s sustainable,” said Mayor Frank Jackson.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said crisis training will be improved as well.
“We want all of our officers to be trained,” said Williams, “because there are components within crisis intervention training that officers can use in everything.”
Among the changes: a 13-member Community Police Commission, a Mental Health Review Board, command-level oversight of crisis training, at least 8 hours of crisis training for every cop, 16 training hours for new recruits—with the ultimate goal of includes crisis training for every officer—new guidelines for excessive force, independent monitor oversight and 577 police officers and 32 dispatchers have gone through Crisis Intervention Training.
Matthew Barge, Vice-President of the New York non-profit that will serve as the independent monitor, called the consent decree reached between the Cleveland the Justice Department one of the most “far-reaching consent decrees “ he has seen, adding, “I’ll be holding the parties to the pledge.”