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City of Cleveland to hire more investigators to handle citizen complaint backlog

Posted at 3:42 PM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 15:42:35-05

The City of Cleveland is hiring a private outside contractor to help deal with a backlog of citizen complaints against police officers.

The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) determined that at the end of November, there were 378 open investigations that still needed to be completed. 

Those 378 consisted of 218 open investigations for complaints received in 2015 and 2016 and 160 investigations for complaints that were received by OPS in 2017.

To help deal with the backlog, the City will hire a new OPS Administrator, a "Senior Investigator" and two new full-time permanent investigators for 2018.

Additionally, the City will contract with a private vendor, which they hope will "allow the full-time permanent and temporary OPS investigators to direct their efforts into ensuring that investigations of public complaints received in 2018 are kept current and accomplished," according to federal court documents.

If everything goes as planned, the city hopes to have the backlog eliminated by the end of 2018.

News 5 has been reporting on the citizen complaint backlog for years

As part of the consent decree, the city submitted new guidelines to a federal judge that detail how the citizen complaint process of the Cleveland police department should operate. The case included new manuals for the Office of Professional Standards, which investigates citizen complaints made against Cleveland Police and the Civilian Police Review Board, which rules on the complaints.