Today, Mayor Frank G. Jackson delivered a presentation to the public and members of the media that highlighted the declining instances of use of force by officers of the Cleveland Division of Police throughout his tenure as Mayor. In that presentation, Mayor Jackson outlined actions that he and his administration haven taken to reduce these incidents and presented future plans for continued reform.
Some of the historical actions taken by Mayor Jackson include:
February, 1993 – Council members Fannie M. Lewis and Frank G. Jackson introduce legislation to ban the use of the choke-hold.
October, 2004 – Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) starts for officers, instructing them on techniques to de-escalate situations with mental health issues and those impaired by alcohol and drugs.
January, 2006 – Reforms to Cleveland Police Use of Force Policy, clearing the backlog of deadly force investigations pending in the City Prosecutors office. Appointed a special prosecutor to oversee deadly force investigations, implemented a tracking system to ensure these and all future investigations were completed.
2008-2009 – A Central Booking is established to receive all prisoners at the Justice Center, where trained medical and corrections personnel are ready to help those individuals in need.
2010 – Cleveland Division of Police implements comprehensive vehicle pursuit policy.
Oct. 19, 2012 – The Police Executive Research Forum (an advisory to the United States Department of Justice) provided the City with a list of recommendations following its review of police practices and policies regarding the use of force. Overall, PERF said, it “found Cleveland Division of Police policies and procedures sound and comprehensive.” The city enacted all twenty-seven of these recommendations.
These policies and procedures implemented by Mayor Jackson throughout his tenure have resulted in declining use of force incidents, arrests, and calls for service.
- Calls for service to police have been reduced by 22%
- Arrests by 22%,
- Less Lethal Force by 54%
- Deadly Force by 48%
While the polices implemented by Mayor Jackson have resulted in a significant reduction in use of force and overall arrests, there is still more work to be done.
This January, the City of Cleveland became the largest municipality in the United States to outfit its police force with body-worn cameras. The cameras were deployed in January 2015, beginning with the First District, and will be city-wide by June 2015.
In addition to the body-worn cameras, the Division of Police is revamping the way it approaches hiring and recruitment in order to create a police force that is truly representative of the community that it serves. A continuing applications process, new minimum qualifications, and a revamped psychological examination are just some of the areas that the Mayor and his administration have targeted for change.