Cleveland Promises Improvements in Processing Citizen Complaints Against Police

Jun 14, 2016

Professor Ronnie Dunn says more staff is an important step.
Credit PBS NEWSHOUR

The city of Cleveland is vowing to revamp its system for investigating citizen complaints against police. The federal monitor overseeing the city’s consent decree with the Justice Department recently cited citizen-complaint resolution as an ongoing problem.              

Cleveland has more than 300 citizen complaints pending, 65 of them from 2014. In a status report submitted this week, city officials say two new full-time investigators are being hired, raising the number to six. And, a new electronic tracking system will soon replace the outdated computers now in use.

Cleveland State University urban affairs professor Ronnie Dunn has been studying the city’s citizen-complaint system and served as a consultant in the reform efforts. He says adding staff should move the city in the right direction.

“Also I see they’re bringing in a general manager over at administrative services. I think this should help, I think a lot of the issues that have persisted with that entity has been on the administrative side.”

City officials say police body cameras put into use last year have reduced the number of citizen complaints.