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Government & Politics

Cleveland City Council to consider police commission nominations during summer break

mccormack griffin santana.jpg
Matthew Richmond
Ideastream Public Media
Cleveland City Council members Kerry McCormack (left) and Jasmin Santana (right) along with Council President Blaine Griffin speak to members of the media before council's June 6 meeting.

Cleveland City Council is planning to tackle at least one pressing issue during its summer break: approving commissioners for the new Community Police Commission [CPC].

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb is expected to nominate new members to the CPC in July.

Bibb has appointed a selection committee to review the nearly 300 applications received for the 10 commissioners he will appoint.

Commissioners have to be Cleveland residents and require council approval before the CPC can take on the new oversight powers voters approved in November.

Council President Blaine Griffin told reporters Monday night — before the last scheduled meeting until September — that they won’t wait until they return to consider the mayor’s nominees.

“We’re going to try to move to empanel this,” Griffin said. “Listen, the voters voted for it. No matter how some people feel about Issue 24, the voters overwhelmingly voted for it.”

He added they’ll be looking for fair-minded commissioners who aren’t too pro-police or too anti-police.

Council will also recommend three people for the 13-member commission.

“This is serious business. This commission is going to have a serious charge,” Griffin said. “We need to make sure that we have people that come to the table that don’t come with preconceived notions of what they’re going to do once they get there.”

Griffin said the council’s selection process will start in the safety committee.

Once at least seven members are approved, they’ll have final say on police discipline, policies and training.

Council also plans to watch budget spending closely for the rest of the year.

“This council hasn’t been a rubber stamp,” Griffin said. “We are going to have regular monthly and quarterly updates where we do nothing but analyze where we are with overtime, where we are with how much each department has spent.”

Bibbs first budget as mayor, approved by council in March, included a $62 million deficit and aimed to fill 683 jobs left open at the end of 2021.

When council comes back in September, their priorities will also include protections for renters and workers.

Source of income, pay to stay, Guardians for Fair Work are some things we have on the agenda,” Griffin said. “We’re a deliberate council. We don’t rush anything. We try to take our time to make sure that we vet things appropriately, that we do them legally and that we do them in a way that’s going to benefit people.”