Vehicle Pursuit Policy Recommendations

August 31, 2020

On August 31, the Community Police Commission (CPC) submitted its vehicle pursuit policy recommendations to the City and Cleveland Division of Police. Community concerns regarding the danger vehicle pursuits pose to the public and the pursuit related death of a 13 year old girl in December of 2019 led the CPC to take a look at existing policy.

The CPC recognizes the CDP’s 2015 effort to update the vehicle pursuit policy and acknowledge that the current policy is generally in line with many national and local Ohio policies that existed during that time. In response to public concerns, the CPC concluded that five years is a reasonable amount of time to consider making several updates to enhance previous efforts in this area.

The CPC’s recommendations were informed by community feedback and existing research on best practices currently followed by other law enforcement agencies.

The CPC’s recommendations center on three key areas:

  1. Refining when an officer can use an authorized emergency vehicle to pursue a suspect and incorporating additional best practices for these pursuits;
  2. Defining training standards and limiting officers who are authorized to pursue to “sufficiently trained officers” only;
  3. Outlining criteria for reporting pursuit data to the public.

Analysis of the Cleveland Police Monitoring Team’s Eighth Semiannual Report

Document Created: July 2020

Objective

As part of its mandate outlined by the Consent Decree, the CPC has developed a straightforward way for the citizens of Cleveland to follow the Monitoring Team’s assessment of the progress the City has made towards fully complying with the Consent Decree. By quantifying the Monitoring Team’s assessment, this report will provide the citizens of Cleveland an alternate way to see and understand what progress has been made so far, as well as how much work remains. 

Methods

Per the Monitoring Team’s Eighth Semiannual Report, each Paragraph of the Consent Decree is given one of five statuses. Each of these statuses is assigned a numerical score to reflect how much progress has been made towards fully complying with the Consent Decree. Non-compliance and Evaluation Differed are given a score of 0; Partial Compliance has a score of 1; Operational Compliance is 2; and General Compliance has a score of 3. Definitions of these statuses are listed on Page 2.

These scores are then added up by section, then divided by the maximum possible score. This is then done for the entire Semiannual Report to get an overall quantitative assessment of how much progress the City has made towards full compliance. As the number of paragraphs varies among the sections, an evenly weighted final score is also provided.

This report also includes scores from the Seventh Semiannual Report and any change in scores between semiannual reports is noted.

Results

In brief, given these metrics, the Monitoring Team’s most recent assessment gives the City and CDP an unweighted score of 36.8% (281.5/765) of the way towards full compliance with the Consent Decree, or a weighted score of 31.6% (316.4/1000) of the way towards full compliance.

It is import to note that a full compliance score is NOT necessary for a Consent Decree to be considered effective or complete. The determination of when the City of Cleveland is able to end its Consent Decree is at the sole discretion of the federal court and is based on data and information received from the parties.

Review of Cleveland Division of Police Training Curricula

Published: March 2020

Report Summary

Part of the Community Police Commission’s mandate under the consent decree is to review and comment on the implementation of training initiatives and programs facilitated by the Cleveland Division of Police.

This evaluation provides a gap analysis to determine the degree to which the mandated reforms as it relates to the revised curricula have been implemented. The analysis also shows whether community feedback has been incorporated and if best practices in adult education were used in developing the revised training curricula.

The guiding documents used to frame this analysis are the 2015 Consent Decree and the feedback collected during community forums from 2015 – 2019.

CPC’s Response to CDP’s Draft Community & Problem Oriented Policing Plan (CPOP)

The Cleveland Police Commission (CPC) issued the following release with regard to the issuance of its analysis of pending City of Cleveland police policies.

For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2018

(CLEVELAND, OH) — The Cleveland Police Commission today issued its response to the City of Cleveland draft Community & Problem Oriented Policing Plan (CPOP) as well as the accompanying Staffing and Resource Policy and Recruitment Plans. The CPC document represents months of critical review and community engagement. That engagement included city wide presentations, business and law leadership meetings, surveys and focus group discussions.

Said Dr. Yvonne Conner, co-chair of the commission, “We are very pleased to present this collaborative piece. It represents the voice of the community. The CPOP plan is the centerpiece of the city’s response to the Consent Decree. We look forward to the incorporation of the recommendations of the community at this critical juncture in the process.”

Added Dick Knoth, co-chair of CPC and attorney with Baker Hostetler, “A great deal of work went into this critical analysis of the CPOP, Staffing and Recruitment Plans. That said, there is much more work to be done as we now begin the effort to be certain that the City’s approach to policing is dramatically improved. The concept of minimal compliance with the Consent Decree should not be the guidepost. Instead, creating a true environment of excellence in policing must be the end point and this working document moves the conversation in that direction.”

As anticipated, the work of the CPC will continue on this front. Additional input from the community will be analyzed following community review of the document. The CPC anticipates on-going work on all aspects of the plan until it is finalized and submitted for court approval.

For additional information contact:
Dr. Yvonne Conner
yconner@clecpc.org
(216) 406-7249

Richard Knoth
rknoth@clecpc.org
(216) 861-7412

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About the Cleveland Community Police Commission (CPC)

The CPC was established in 2015 as part of the consent decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice. The 13 commissioners of the CPC work with the community to make recommendations on policies and practices to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve. The CPC’s website: www.clecpc.org

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CPC Report: Cleveland Division of Police Mission Statement Best Practices

The Cleveland Community Police Commission (CCPC) was established by the Settlement Agreement (Consent Decree) between the Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland. The CPC exists “to leverage the experience and expertise of the people of Cleveland and to ensure that the CDP [Cleveland Division of Police] recognizes and operates in a manner consistent with cooperative community understanding and engagement.” Promoting public trust, confidence, and understanding across the City are critical to this endeavor.

This Mission Statement Best Practices Report is the second and final written CPC response about mission statements. It is issued on behalf of the community to provide insights to Cleveland Division of Police and other Consent Decree Stakeholders in compliance with the Consent Decree.

Read the Motion recommending approval of a new CDP mission statement (pdf)

Read the CPC Report (pdf)

CPC Accountability Work Group Report

September 2019

This report by the CPC Accountability Work Group examines police accountability in Cleveland beyond discipline and makes recommendations to enhance police practices. This report was made possible through the commitment and support of community members from various experiences, belief systems, and cultures that shared invaluable insight, asked challenging questions, and were willing to engage in substantive discourse, at times heated, but always necessary to move the work forward.

Accountability is an expansive topic made manageable by the committee members who aided in streamlining ideas, while remaining focused on reflecting the voice of the community and the important role of every police officer as a collaborator. The CPC is thankful for the dedicated committee and community members that contributed to this report.

Read the CPC Accountability Work Group Report (pdf)

Accountability Work Group Report – Appendix (pdf)

Report and Evaluation of Cleveland’s Civilian Oversight Structure

September 2019

Part of the Community Police Commission’s mandate is to, “on an ongoing basis, review CDP’s civilian oversight structure to determine if there are changes it recommends for improving CDP’s accountability and transparency (Consent Decree ¶ 17).”

To that end, the Best Practices for Civilian Oversight of Police report will look at the best practices for civilian oversight, examine the current structure of Cleveland’s police accountability mechanisms, and discuss how the limits of these mechanisms might impede progress towards compliance with the Consent Decree. Understanding this will help the citizens of Cleveland make informed recommendations to the Commission that will, in turn, be able to recommend policies that will help develop a civilian oversight system that best fits the needs of Cleveland’s citizens.

It is important that Cleveland follow through on its efforts to reform the CDP by observing the best practices outlined in the report. Failing to do so will further erode any confidence the citizens of Cleveland have in their city—it will also continue to squeeze Cleveland’s finances. The City has spent tens of millions of dollars on police misconduct lawsuits since the turn of the millennium, with many even more expensive cases in the last few years.

Implementing the Consent Decree itself has cost the City between 6 and 11 million dollars annually. Existing research suggests that well implemented civilian oversight has the potential to reduce costly lawsuits against the city. In addition to civilian harm reduction, these financial factors should be strong motivation for Cleveland’s government officials to implement oversight best practices locally.

Read the Full Report: Best Practices for Civilian Oversight of Police

Community & Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP): Mini Stations in the Context of 21st Century Policing

May 2, 2019

The CPC hosted a forum on Mini Stations on April 18th, 2019. At the forum, attendees were provided with the information in this brief, listened to a panel discussion on the topic and engaged in a Q&A.

Issue Overview
The goal of the Cleveland Community Police Commission (CPC) is to be a place where Cleveland comes together to talk about the types of police services that it wants and needs. Recently, there has been public debate centered on the revival of the discontinued Cleveland Division of Police Mini-Station Program. The CPC Community and Problem Oriented Policing Work Group, led by Dr. Yvonne Conner, has taken a three-step approach to empowering the community on this issue:

  • Provide factual data and research related to mini-stations
  • Provide education related to the Consent Decree and the Cleveland Division of Police’s current Community and Problem Oriented Policing Plan
  • Facilitate a conversation in the community that explores the issue in the context of current reform efforts, CPOP and 21st century policing

Read the Full Issue Brief: Mini Stations in the Context of 21st Century Policing

CPC Comments on Draft CPOP GPO

April 4, 2019

The CPC’s Community & Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP) Work Group comprised of commissioners and community members drafted a general police order (GPO) that included a detailed list of 14 action items that were included in the approved CPOP plan.

Read the Recommendation