'Noticeable Progress' Reported in Cleveland's Police Reform Effort

Dec 11, 2015

Deputy Police Chief Joellen O'Neill with Mayor Frank Jackson talks about changes among Cleveland officers since the consent decree.
Credit KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

  The City of Cleveland has submitted its first six-month report on progress in meeting police department reforms listed in the consent decree the city signed this spring with the Department of Justice. The report submitted to the judge overseeing the decree lists several milestones and goals for next year. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

The report says that, since the June settlement was reached, a monitor was hired and a Community Police Commission was appointed. The city also lists efforts to improve recruiting, training, and strengthening police-community relations, a big consent-decree goal.

Deputy Police Chief Joellen O’Neill says there have been some noticeable changes on the street.

“One of the bigger differences you see are officers reaching out to members of the community more, taking time to actually talk to them. We did receive some community policing training last year and we’re building on that this year. ... A lot of the big changes from the consent decree they’ll see more of next year in 2016 once we get into the training. But they’re learning to take a different attitude towards people.”

The report also lists plans to put a civilian in charge of internal affairs and to hire a civilian for Inspector General. Mayor Frank Jackson says this will give residents more confidence in the city’s investigations into police matters.