Mayor Frank Jackson said the Cleveland Division of Police is making progress when it comes to implementing the massive reforms required by a federal consent decree.
"We have this great opportunity for reform. We want to make sure it works," said Jackson.
The mayor described the reforms during a news conference Wednesday after the city submitted a six-month progress report to Judge Solomon Oliver Wednesday.
The reforms include the hiring of an independent monitor to oversee reforms, the creation of the Community Police Commission and the overhaul of the citizen complaint process, recruitment, and training.
Jackson said the city's officers have accepted the changes and the public should already be experiencing improved interactions with the police.
"Since there is a clear line of what is expected of them in terms of what's good and what's bad and accountability associated with that, you actually see them more comfortable with doing their job . . . and doing a better job," said the mayor.
In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice said their civil rights investigators found Cleveland police officers engage in a pattern and practice of excessive force and violate people's civil rights.
As part of the consent decree, Cleveland has also agreed to train officers to work more closely with the community and to establish new policies on use of force and dealing with the mentally ill.
The City of Cleveland said the progress report is the first of the semi-annual reports the consent decree requires the city to file with Judge Oliver. The decree states:
Within 180 days of the Effective Date, the City will file with the Court, with a copy to the Monitor and DOJ, a status Report. This report will delineate the steps taken by CDP [Cleveland Division of Police] during the reporting period to comply with this Agreement; CDP’s Assessment of the Status of its progress; plans to correct any problems; and response to concerns raised in the Monitor’s previous semi-annual report. Following this initial status report, the City will file a status report every six months thereafter while this Agreement is in effect.