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Government & Politics

Clevelanders Could Have a Chance to Vote on Civilian Police Review Board Changes

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City of Cleveland

Cleveland City Council is holding a special meeting tomorrow to review legislation to put proposed changes to the city’s Civilian Police Review Board on the ballot. The changes are part of the consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department to revamp the police department.

The Justice Department says the current Police Review Board fails to adequately hold officers accountable in use-of-force cases, and changes need to be made. If council approves putting the charter amendment on November’s ballot, voters would decide whether to raise the number of members from 7 to 9, and one of those would have to be between the ages of 18 and 30. It would also limit members to two four year terms. Mario Clopton is co-chair of the Community Police Commission required by the consent decree to make reform recommendations. He says the proposed Review Board changes are a start, but hopes more is done in the future.

“Also just addressing the civilian complaint process in itself. Currently the Civilian Police review Board has a backlog of investigations through the Office of Professional Standards, and that speaks to a deficiency in the structure of the actual complaint process.”

City officials say additional changes could be made in the future.