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Plan to Overhaul Cleveland's Police Department to Be Submitted to Federal Judge

Photo of Judge Solomon Oliver

Details on the crucial first step in the overhaul of the Cleveland Police Department will be submitted to a federal judge today. 

WKSU’s M.L. Schultze says the emphasis will be on use of force and training.

The plan is a first step toward implementing an agreement between the city of Cleveland and the U.S. Justice Department to address problems with training, use-of-force and community-police relations.

If federal Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. OK’s it – as expected – the focus the first year will include training the entire police department on a new use-of-force policy.

Matthew Barge is the federal monitor overseeing the consent decree. He says the goals for the first year of the five-year agreement are ambitious, and some important reforms will have to be held over for next year.

“Things related to stops of vehicles and people, a lot of stuff related to data systems for implementing a system to identify problematic performance trends among officers," said Barge. "Those are all things that are going to take time No. 1 and No. 2, there’s just not the band width in that plan to get to. It’s a very aggressive plant’s a very aggressive plan.”

Barge says one of the concerns is keeping the all-volunteer Community Police Commission established by the agreement from being overwhelmed by the task.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.