LEVELAND, Ohio — The monitoring team overseeing Cleveland police’s reform efforts said in a report Tuesday that the city finds itself “on the cusp of a major turning point.”
More than three years after Cleveland began work under a settlement it reached with the Justice Department, the city has finished a series of important policies.
While some of the results of the new policies are promising, monitor Matthew Barge and his team note in their new semiannual report that the city has to transition from creating new policies to ensuring that officers follow them.
“This is the point at which paper must be transformed into sustained, ongoing practice – through the completion of training, the day-to-day efforts of the Division’s personnel, and the ongoing work of CDP supervisors and command staff to ensure adherence to new expectations,” the report says.
(You can read the full report here or at the bottom of this story.)
The report is the first comprehensive update the monitoring team has given since August. Since then, the city finished work on key plans on community policing, recruitment and hiring and staffing.
Police officials, however, still have work to do in other sections, such as new policies for Internal Affairs, investigating and reviewing instances where officers used force and collecting data to show whether the city is in compliance with the consent decree, the report states. Officers must also be trained on several new and forthcoming policies, according to the monitor.
With all the work that remains, it again appears unlikely that the city will be able to complete everything it agreed to do in five years, the minimum amount of time called for in the agreement.