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Police union head calls Cleveland consent decree dangerous
Head of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association also threatens suits to curb false complaints

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M.L. Schultze
Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis says the deal will force cops to focus on paperwork rather than patrols.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
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The head of the union that represents Cleveland patrol officers says a police-reform agreement the city signed with the U.S. Justice Department is impractical and even dangerous. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

LISTEN: Police union says decree will make officers hesitate

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“This document is going to get police officers killed," predicted Steve Loomis, head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association. That ws after he’d had a chance to digest the more than 100-page consent decree that will govern use-of-force policies and practices, as well as training, complaint procedures and civilian oversight of the Cleveland force.

Among the sections Loomis found most objectionable are requirements for police to document when and why they pull their weapons.

“The question is: Do do you want us to be police officers, do you want us to provide safety and security for the community, or do you want us to be part of a national and very, very political discussion? If you want us in the office doing paperwork, we’re going to oblige you.”

Both the city and Justice Department – which found systemic problems in the police department -- maintain the agreement will make officers and the community safer by rebuilding trust and giving police more training and other resources.  

Fighting false complaints
Another of his major objections is allowing people to file anonymous complaints against officers. Loomis says the union will take its own steps to respond.  

LISTEN: The union will sue over false complaints
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“Every time, I have somebody that has to go in front of the chief or safety director because of one of these complaints I’m paying an attorney. What we’re going to end up doing is we’re going to end up civilly suing people that we find to have made a false complaint.”  

Loomis insists the deal is being propelled in large part by national trouble-makers and ambitious politicians.

Equipment inventory 
Loomis also is raising objections to the part of the decree that sets up an inventory of equipment needs. He says that's an unnecessary delay.

LISTEN: Loomis says needs are known
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“We know how many of those cars have computers that don’t work in them. We know how many computers don’t work at the police stations. This is not something that requires a study. This is something that requires action.”


Related Links & Resources
New York Times talks about civilian oversight of Cleveland police

Related WKSU Stories

Cleveland deal ramps up civilian oversight of police
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cleveland and Justice Dept. reach deal on police reforms
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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