About the CPC
The Cleveland Community Police Commission (CPC) was established in 2015 as part of the terms of the Consent Decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Following an investigation, the DOJ determined there was a pattern of excessive force used by the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP). These findings were documented in the DOJ’s findings letter. The Consent Decree outlined the work that needed to be done so CDP policies, practices and procedures comply with Constitutional law.
A federal judge, Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. and an appointed police monitor, the Cleveland Police Monitoring Team, oversees the Consent Decree and ensures that the Cleveland Division of Police implements the specific reforms outlined in the Decree. Consent Decree status updates and case filings are listed in chronological order on our website.
The CPC’s purpose is to bring community voices into the process of police reform. Ongoing community input is crucial to ensure policing in Cleveland is constitutional, effective, and consistent with community values. We work with the community to ensure that a variety of community perspectives about policing are heard and reflected in the CPC’s reports and policy recommendations.
The Commission consists of 13 individuals who have gone through a selection process and are appointed for a two or four-year term. All two and four-year terms were randomly allocated to preserve fairness and the integrity of the selection process.
Commission members represent a broad spectrum of life experience and subject-matter expertise in policing, criminal justice, homelessness, human resources and community affairs and together, create a balanced oversight body that reflects the racial, social and cultural diversity of the city of Cleveland.
Dr. John Adams is the former chair of the social studies department and current 9th grade leader for the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in African American history with a specialty in Civil Rights and gender from Rutgers University, where he researched the life and activism of Daisy and L.C. Bates. His research includes the history of law enforcement and the Black community.
John is active in several community organizations, including the Cleveland Association of Black School Educators, the Ohio Council of Social Studies, the Thurgood Marshall Oratorical Debate and Education Project, and has been a panelist for the City Club of Cleveland as well as spoke to the State Board of Education about education reform and Critical Race Theory.
Shandra Benito is a licensed social worker who works as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Nord Center. She has a background in working in mental health, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, people with disabilities, justice-involved youth, and people experiencing homelessness. Shandra has previously served as a commissioner in Seattle for the Commission on People with Disabilities and their Public Safety Committee and has a wealth of knowledge regarding public policy and community outreach
James Chura has 33 years of experience in police patrol and investigative operations. He served as the officer in charge of the Integrity Control Section which included the Internal Affairs Unit, the Inspection Unit, and the Overtime Review Unit. He rose through the ranks of the Cleveland Police Department starting out as a patrolman and rising to commander. James also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Kent University. He is a lifetime Cleveland resident and lives in West Park with his wife and son. James represents the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 8.
Charles Donaldson Jr. is a talent acquisition specialist for Sherwin-Williams Company. He has extensive experience in human resources and management as well as being a Member of the Society for Human Resource Management. Charles was an active-duty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard for five years and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. For the past 10 years, he has been a proud Cleveland resident.
Pastor Earley serves as senior pastor at the City of God Church on the East Side of Cleveland. He has over 15 years of activism, organizing and community building experience in the Cleveland area and serves as President of the Faith Movement.
He is also a board member at the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and a member of the NAACP.
Alana Garrett-Ferguson is a policy associate at the Center for Community Solutions. She brings a wealth of experience in community organizing, program management, and policy and advocacy work. She has worked for several community-based organizations, including Ohio Women’s Alliance, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Open Doors Academy, and Rainey Institute. She is a part of the greater faith community and a member of the Cleveland NAACP and Board of the Abortion Fund of Ohio. Alana previously served on the Community & Problem-Oriented Policing Committee.
Cait Kennedy is the Executive Director and co-founder of unBail, a free app that democratizes information about the criminal legal system. unBail delivers valuable and relevant legal information to defendants and their families in plain language, empowering them to advocate for themselves and proactively plan for the future. Cait Kennedy is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology & Politics and Global Citizenship at Baldwin Wallace University and Assistant Director of the Community Research Institute. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and a 2019 graduate of the College’s Master of Science in Urban Studies program.
Gregory Reaves works as a career coach for Towards Employment. He has extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system as a previously incarcerated individual and advocate for those with criminal backgrounds. Gregory is a born and raised Clevelander and attended John F. Kennedy Senior High School in the Lee-Miles neighborhood, where he previously spoke to at-risk youth.
Jan Ridgeway is the Board President & Volunteer Director of Garden Valley Neighborhood House. She is a retired Cleveland Public Librarian where she served as a Community Outreach & Public Affairs administrator. Before that, she worked in the library system in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Anchorage for more than thirty years. Jan is a community activist and organizer and has worked directly with nearly every demographic in the city. She grew up on a farm in Georgia and has lived in Cleveland for more than twenty years.
Piet van Lier is a senior researcher at Policy Matters Ohio. His current research and analysis focuses on civil rights and criminal justice reform to reimagine public safety in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Previously, Piet was the executive director of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance. He began his career as a journalist and worked as peace and human rights activist with an organization called Peace Brigades International in Central America and Mexico. Piet grew up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood and now lives on the near West side with his wife and two children.
Audrianna Rodriguez works as a family advocate at The Centers for Children and Families for three Cleveland Metropolitan Schools. She received a master’s degree in community psychology with a concentration in clinical services from University of New Haven. Audrianna is a member of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP, Cleveland Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and member of the 4th District Community Relations Community. She has a breadth of experience in community organization, engagement, and outreach.
Teri Wang is a writer and academic consultant living in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. She is experienced in scientific and data analysis, as well as implicit bias research. Teri was born in Shanghai, China and moved to the United States when she was six years old. She attended Harvard University for Biochemistry and Art History and now is the Chair of Community Partnerships for the Asian American Coalition of Ohio.
Sharena Zayed is the North Broadway Network Weaver for University Settlement. She has an abundance of experience in community outreach and engagement. Sharena has lived in Cleveland all her life and works for multiple community organizations, including serving as a board chair of Stop the Pain, Inc., board member of Chagrin Arts, and member of Citizens to Bring Back North Broadway. Sharena tragically lost her 15-year-old son to gun violence in March 2020 and is an advocate for families.
How to Get Involved