February 16, 2022
Last November, Clevelanders prioritized public safety and police reform when they adopted Issue 24 and Elected Mayor Justin Bibb. As Mayor Bibb moves forward with his plans to implement Issue 24 and increase public safety. His office recently released a transition plan addressing, “a need for increased awareness centered around community safety and the role of first responders.”
Today, the Community Police Commission (CPC) launched an educational resource on its website to help achieve this goal. Entitled the “100 Years Project”, our program aims to enhance the dialogue of safety and the role of policing in the future by closely examining the past. The “100 Years Project” is now live on the CPC’s website at clecpc.org/100-years-project and dives deep into the city of Cleveland’s police reform efforts over the past 100 years.
Recommendations for how to make the Cleveland Division of Police more responsive to crime and the needs of community can be found as far back as 1922 when the Cleveland Foundation first studied this issue. The foundation released a groundbreaking report that year calling for major changes to the way police conducted its business and tackled a growing crime problem in Cleveland.
In the decades since, dozens of reports have followed which contained hundreds of recommendations that have gone largely ignored or have brought only short lasting results to the Cleveland Division of Police.
“Moving forward requires us to look back and examine why police reform over 100 years hasn’t been sustainable.” says CPC Commissioner LaToya Logan, who helped champion this project.
Persistent problems with high crime that ran concurrently with biased policing, police brutality, police misconduct, community trust, and officer morale have all been well documented decades before the DOJ investigated the Cleveland Division of Police in 2014 which led to the current Consent Decree.
By looking into Cleveland’s past, the CPC hopes to help the community gain a better understanding of what policing practices have been successful, what issues exist, and what lessons still need to be learned to move forward in creating a more sustainable policing model for the future. This will help us achieve the Mayor’s goal of a safer Cleveland for everyone.
The project is organized chronologically and by topic in a way that community members can easily access information. It will be continuously updated as research continues. The CPC encourages all interested individuals and organizations to join the CPC in taking a deeper dive into this information. Contact CPC Senior Policy Analyst, Ryan Walker, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
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