A Statement from Mayor Frank G. Jackson
Today, the City of Cleveland and Department of Justice signed a settlement agreement that will mark a new way of policing in the city, one built on a strong foundation of progressive change, sustained trust, and accountability. The agreement with the Department of Justice is a reflection of ideas from people and groups across the community – including residents, civil rights organizations, activists, clergy, student groups, business and philanthropic organizations and elected officials, as well as the police unions and the Division of Police. Our goal throughout this process was to have real reform that will be sustainable. This agreement is a major step in getting us there.
Police reform has been my focus and that of the city since the day I took office as mayor, and we have made meaningful progress. Since 2006, my administration has:
- Made changes in the Use of Force Policy and creating a timetable for completing investigations.
- Addressed recruiting and hiring procedures to achieve our goal of having a more diverse police force that is representative of the community.
- Trained more than 500 police officers and dispatchers in Crisis Intervention Training, with an additional 100 officers to be trained by the end of 2015.
- Deployed body cameras city-wide. Once complete, this will make our Division of Police one the largest force to have every officer equipped with body cameras.
I look at this agreement and the reforms in it, not as programs, but as a way we do policing here in Cleveland. Cleveland will have community policing as part of its DNA. This will be accomplished through training in:
- Use of Force
- Community Policing
- De-escalation tactics
- Bias Free Policing
- Scenario Based Training
- Searches and Seizures
There will also be accountability and transparency through:
- The Office of Professional Standards (OPS)
- The Civilian Review Board
- The Community Policing Commission
- Reforms in police investigations of Use of Force
- Upgrades in Equipment and Technology
- Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
This is a transformative time for the City of Cleveland, the Division of Police and, most importantly, all citizens of Cleveland. Even though there were differences on specific points, everyone agrees that we want a strong and safe community where both citizens and police officers receive the respect they expect and deserve.
Over the past several days, the generally peaceful response to the Officer Michael Brelo verdict has reinforced my belief that Cleveland truly is a community where peaceful demonstrations and dialogue can drive change that will make a lasting difference. Cleveland has shown the world that we are One Cleveland, by showing that we hear one another’s voices and despite different views and strong emotions, peace and unity will prevail.
We recognize that rulings on the Tanisha Anderson and Tamir Rice cases are expected soon, but we equally recognize that today’s agreement is a catalyst to create policing for the future, which if successful, will alleviate the circumstances that led us to today.
This is a defining moment for Cleveland. It defines who we are as a city and a people. As we go forward, it is my strong hope that when other cities across the country address policing issues in their communities, they will be able to say, “Let’s look at Cleveland – they got it right.”