CPC Work Group Feedback on Search and Seizure Policies

Submitted: July – Sept. 2021

The CPC Search and Seizure Work Group reviewed the following Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) policy drafts in five key areas centered around the 4th amendment: “Search and Seizure”, “Investigatory Stops”, “Probable Cause/Warrantless Arrests”, “Miranda Warning and Waiver”, “Strip Searches & Body Cavity Searches”.

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.

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 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.

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

Search & Seizure Updated GPO Feedback

February 21, 2019

The CPC’s response to the City’s January Drafts of the (5) General Police Orders related to Search and Seizure

At the core of the (5) proposed Search and Seizure Polices are Constitutional issues that should not be taken lightly. The 4th Amendment is the backbone of the Consent Decree and violations have resulted in numerous complaint actions, costly litigation and harmful findings against the City.

The CPC’s Search and Seizure Work Group is unique in quality of knowledge and years of legal experience with 4th Amendment issues. The group may constitute one of the greatest resources ever assembled to examine local police policy. The recommendations made were done thoughtfully, with consideration of current case law from all sides, and reviewed for practicality of application in the field. We stand firm on the 22 recommendations from each of the 5 policies.

We appreciate the City’s efforts to include the communities concerns and the advice of this work group into the most recent drafts. We look forward to our February 25th meeting with the City’s policy team, DOJ representatives and members of the monitoring team to continue the conversation to ensure these policies are in harmony with the purpose of the Consent Decree.

Read the Full Recommendations: Response to CDP’s Search & Seizure GPOs