Proposed Changes to the CDP’s Disciplinary Matrix Policy

June 2020

The Community Police Commission (CPC) submitted recommendations that would make substantial changes to the Cleveland Division of Police’s (CDP) current disciplinary process.

The recommended improvements to the CDP’s Disciplinary Guidance Matrix outlines the changes to be made that would bring the Cleveland Division of Police closer to being into compliance with the consent decree than if the policy remained unchanged.

Improving the discipline policy continues to be a high priority for both the community and officers. It is important to the community that officers are held accountable for their actions and clear guidelines will let officers know that the way discipline is carried out will be consistent and fair.

The Cleveland Police Monitoring Team’s 2018 Police Officer Focus Group report states, “Officers believe that CDP’s administrators are perpetuating a culture of excessive and inconsistent discipline to make it appear that reform is taking place, as opposed to using discipline to teach and impose thoughtful accountability.”

If implemented, the CPC’s recommendations would effectively address the community’s and officer’s concerns by:

  • Clarifying existing violations which would reduce supervisors’ arbitrary disciplinary decisions.
  • Ensuring the creation, availability, and disclosure of proper documentation relevant to disciplinary decisions.
  • Narrows the use of discretion by limiting mitigating and aggravating factors to the most serious offenses.
  • Creating a new oversight committee tasked with making sure disciplinary outcomes are consistent.

The CPC’s proposed changes along with a draft showing how the new policy would look can be read below.