Cleveland Police Monitoring Team finds progress, problems in second report on CPD reforms

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 18:29:29-05

The Cleveland Police Monitoring Team released its Second Semiannual Report on federally mandated Cleveland Police reforms Tuesday.

The team found Cleveland reached significant milestones when it comes to use of force and crisis intervention policies, but there are still "significant challenges" when it comes to complying with the requirements mandated by the settlement agreement the City of Cleveland signed with the U.S. Department of Justice in May 2015.

The team's harshest criticism was for the department's Office of Professional Standards (OPS)  and the Police Review Board (PRB).  

OPS, which investigates civilian complaints, had a backlog of 439 uncompleted investigations as November 21, 2016, according to the report.

The team also found 81 percent of investigations of complaints the office received in 2016 were unresolved.

Just as troubling, the report said some cases stretch from complaints made in 2014.

The report said,  "The monitoring team struggles for language sufficiently strong to communicate how unacceptable and appalling the state of OPS as an entity is." 

The team was also highly critical of the city's failure to complete a comprehensive equipment and resource plan.

The federal judge overseeing reforms sent the city back to the drawing board to create a better plan last month after the monitoring team filed a motion saying the city's proposal failed to give officers the tools they need to do their jobs.

The report said Cleveland is "several decades behind where it should be" when it comes to computer-aided dispatch, in-car computers, field reports, and well-functioning patrol cars. 

The report did find Cleveland Police is on track in some key areas. The monitoring team said the city's new use of force and crisis intervention policies will result in a "new day" in Cleveland with respect to force and how officers respond to to mental health crises. 

The Cleveland City Council Safety Committee will hold a special meeting on the Second Semiannual Report at City Hall at 10 am Wednesday morning. 

Members of the Cleveland Police Monitoring Team will be at the meeting to answer council member's questions about the report.


News 5 will have a crew at the meeting to cover developments related Cleveland Police reforms.