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.

Policing Topic:



The supervision of officers and the relationship between officers and their management has been a complex issue for some time. The 2015 Consent Decree outlines some necessary changes into how officers are evaluated and ways that supervisors can help officers improve their policing skills. Historically the relationship between officers and supervisors has been an important concern for police reformers. These concerns often dealt with the formation of officer’s unions and the problem of supervisors assigning police officers to non-police work.

The 1945 Survey of policing in Cleveland, found that officers spent a lot of time doing non-policing work, like clerical work and, as is relevant to this day, that they were handling calls that should have been handled by social welfare workers, something that was time consuming and that they were poorly equipped to handle.

Timeline of Key Reports & Recommendations

The timeline below summarizes the recommended reforms related to Supervision 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.

Summary of Recommendations:
1920s - 1930s

See all Key Reform Recommendations of the 20s & 30s 1920s - 1930s

Summary of Recommendations:
1940s - 1950s

  • Reduce number of supervisors and return officers to the street (1945 Survey)

See all Key Reform Recommendations of the 40s & 50s 1940s - 1950s

Summary of Recommendations:
1960s - 1970s

See all Key Reform Recommendations of the 60s & 70s 1960s - 1970s

Summary of Recommendations:
1980s - 1990s

See all Key Reform Recommendations of the 80s & 90s 1980s - 1990s

Summary of Recommendations:
2000s - Present

  • 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

See all Key Reform Recommendations of the 2000s - Present 2000s - 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 Supervision by analyzing past recommendations concerning police doing non-police work, and unions / labor issues.

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, please contact us to get involved in expanding on this research.

Join the Research

Please contact CPC Senior Policy Analyst, Ryan Walker, at rwalker@clecpc.org to get involved in expanding on this research.

Schedule a Presentation

CPC researchers are available for interviews and custom presentations for schools, groups or organizations interested in this project or its findings.

Questions or Feedback

We welcome your questions & comments about this project. Contact us via the information listed on our contact page or start a conversation on our community forum.

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.