Cleveland submits new guidelines to overhaul agencies that deal with complaints made against police

Posted at 6:43 PM, Nov 30, 2016

As part of the consent decree, the City of Cleveland has submitted new guidelines to a federal judge that detail how the citizen complaint process of the Cleveland police department should operate.

The case includes 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.

The developments come after News 5 has repeatedly exposed the agencies for its lengthy backlog of unresolved cases.

The Cleveland Police Monitoring Team, charged with overseeing the implementation of the consent decree, the Community Police Commission and officials from the Department of Justice developed the guidelines with help from representatives from the City of Cleveland. 

The Office of Professional Standards guidelines call for the agency to better document and assess complaints and communicate more regularly with complainants.  It also calls for making the overall process more efficient. Specifically, it proposes that a case is assigned to an investigator within 24 hours. It also proposes that investigations be resolved within 75 days.

The Civilian Police Review Board guidelines suggest that the board have the authority to discipline an officer if it disagrees with the actions taken by the chief of police. As it currently stands, Cleveland's police chief makes the final ruling on discipline of an officer in each review board case.

Judge Solomon Oliver will hold a hearing on this case December 12th, 2016.