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Cleveland updates sweeping changes for police

Posted: 7:36 PM, Dec 09, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-09 19:36:29-05

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Wednesday updated sweeping changes for police that include improved crisis intervention training when responding to mental health calls.

A status report was released as part of a settlement agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice that calls for updates every six months.

It also follows an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigative special that aired in prime time last night that revealed how key failures continued for years  in the department's crisis training program.

Our hour-long special report also included nationally recognized experts in crisis training that concluded Cleveland failed to involve outside community agencies when responding to the mentally ill.

Mayor Frank Jackson said there are now plans to include professionally trained advocates for the mentally ill as part of the police department's response to calls.

"This training is important," said Jackson, and added that "officers will now confront situations in a more professional, understanding way and not just as police."

In addition, Jackson announced a command level officer has now been appointed with the police department ot oversee crisis training and the city's newest police recruit class has now received a full 40 hours of crisis training--exceeding standards set by the consent decree.