Cleveland Consent Decree

The Policing Project has been retained by the Cleveland Federal Monitoring Team to assist with implementing the consent decree between the City of Cleveland and United States Department of Justice.

In May of 2015, the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP or the Division) and the U.S. Department of Justice entered into a five-year settlement agreement to address a series of systemic deficiencies within the Division on matters of policy, accountability, training, transparency, and community engagement, which had resulted in a pattern of excessive force against Cleveland residents.

The decree requires that the CDP and court-appointed monitor engage the community in the process of defining and achieving reform. The Policing Project has worked with the monitoring team to implement a process for ensuring that all who are affected by policing policies and practices have a voice in the reform process. We have designed a comprehensive community engagement strategy that includes a variety of mechanisms for seeking public feedback, including online surveys, community forums, and topic-focused study groups.

We also assist the monitoring team to revise CDP policies that are critical to rebuilding community trust and confidence. For instance, the Policing Project is shepherding substantive reforms of the Division’s community and problem-oriented policing plan to ensure that the final plan represents a new philosophy of policing that addresses the priorities of Cleveland residents. We are also involved in developing a range of policies, including:

  • Body-Worn Cameras

  • Bias-Free Policing

  • Search and Seizure

  • Use of Force

  • Training

  • Oversight and Accountability