Cleveland Community Police Commission’s Statement on McGrath Resignation

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2020

(CLEVELAND, OH) — The Cleveland Community Police Commission has been made aware via a news article in that Michael McGrath has announced his retirement from the position of Safety Director for the City of Cleveland.

Director McGrath was a polarizing figure when it comes to police reform. His long career with the Cleveland Division of Police, specifically his tenure as Chief of Police during the Department of Justice’s Investigation in 2014, has been controversial. Many Clevelanders and pro-justice organizations have directly advocated for his resignation at our public meetings and through private communications with us due to his perceived friendly bias towards police and law enforcement in general. The persons and groups advocating for his resignation called upon the Mayor to replace him with a qualified, educated and experienced leader who is not emotionally, professionally or philosophically attached to the Cleveland Division of Police. As Governor DeWine alluded to today, police cannot be counted on to be unbiased when they are investigating and disciplining their friends and co-workers.

Today, the Commission calls upon Mayor Jackson to conduct a nationwide search for a qualified and professional Safety Director. Ideally the person selected will be social justice oriented and prioritize the importance of police reform and accountability at this moment in time. We encourage the Mayor to exclude candidates who have served as a Cleveland Police Officer or who have worked closely with the Cleveland Division of Police such as prosecutors or judges.

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 CPC works with the community to provide input on police policies to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve. Better policies will help ensure policing in Cleveland is safe, effective, and that people’s civil rights are upheld. For more information, visit the CPC’s website: