Police Reform in Cleveland: 100 Years Project
The CPC’s 100 Year Project documents the history of policing and police reform in Cleveland from 1922 to the present. Follow our timeline starting in Cleveland in the 1920s, or see past reform recommendations made by policing topic. This is an ongoing project and we encourage all interested individuals and organizations to join us in expanding on this research.
Implementation, Assessment, and Enforcement
An important component of the 2015 Consent Decree is the mandate that the Cleveland Police improve their data collection particularly data related to police-citizen encounters, wearable camera system footage, and data related to police pursuits. Data is an important tool that police can use to help keep communities safe, and it is something that many reformers in the past have focused on, with mixed results.
The 1922 report outlining recommended reforms noted that there was a lack of clarity on what constituted effective policing and how policing could be improved; it recommended that more data collection would be one way to address this. In the 1960s and 70s, the Little Hoover Commission and the American Bar Association both noted that a lack of systematic analysis made it impossible for the Cleveland Police to make long term plans.
In the 1980s the Mayor’s Committee on improving community-police relations argued for improved Use-of-Force data collection to get a better understanding of a topic that was deeply concerning to Cleveland’s citizens. In the 1990s, the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a report that concluded that improving data collection was an important component of reducing crime.
These same concerns continue to exist and in order for there to be lasting reform, we need good data to show us what is and what is not working.
Timeline of Key Reports & Recommendations
The timeline below summarizes the recommended reforms related to Implementation, Assessment, and Enforcement from the reports & documents that reviewed Cleveland police operations and encouraged reform. These are not the exact words from the text, but are summarized by our researchers as best as possible – highlighting key points and phrases.
- Improve data collection (Criminal Justice in Cleveland), (Reorganization Police Department, Eliot Ness)
- The division should be constantly studying the problems in the organization and working out efficiency problems when not training recruits (Criminal Justice in Cleveland)
- The academy should take a university approach using data and scientific analysis to drive training. (Criminal Justice in Cleveland)
- The academy should utilize outside experts in areas of law and forensics to instruct police officers (Criminal Justice in Cleveland)
- Training should invest in the growth and wellness of personnel (Criminal Justice in Cleveland)
- Institute a crime analysis unit (Reorganization Police Department, Eliot Ness)
- No highlights for this particular area. Please check back as our analysis continues.
- Get a sense of urgency about data collection and analysis (Police Services in the City of Cleveland Ohio), (Standards of Performance of the Urban Police Function)
- Rotate officers regularly, more cross meetings, insist all units have common goals; consistent ethics and morale (Cleveland Grand Jury Report)
- Analyze critical incidents (Cleveland Little Hoover Commission)
- Use data to analyze use of force incidents and use UOF reports to assess need for training (Report of the Mayor's Committee on Police-Community Relations)
- Improve data collection and analysis to help fight crime (Policing in the Nineties)
- A detailed list of all reform efforts for this time period can be found in the Consent Decree. Read the Consent Decree here or click below to see all documents and recommendations in the 2000’s - present
Continuing the Research
The CPC’s research into the documented history of the Cleveland police is ongoing as part of the 100 Years Project. We will be looking further into the topic of Implementation, Assessment, and Enforcement by analyzing past recommendations concerning data collection data assessment, performance review, and outcomes.
By looking into Cleveland’s past, the CPC aims to help the community gain a better understanding of what policing practices have been successful, what issues exist, and what lessons still need to be learned to move forward in creating a more sustainable policing model for the future. If you are an individual or organization interested in joining us in taking a deeper dive into this information, contact us to get involved in expanding on this research.
100 Years Project: Explore by Decade or Topic
Read about key reform recommendations made by year, or learn about how each police reform issue area mandated by the 2015 Consent Decree compares to recommendations made in the past.