Mayor Frank G. Jackson and U.S. Attorney Steven Dettlebach introduced a panel that will select members of Cleveland's first Community Police Commission.
"They have to do a lot of work in a short period of time, but they're up to it," said Mayor Jackson.
The selection panel is made up of 11 members, six men and five women. They are leaders from all over the city including the President of Cuyahoga Community College, the head of the Legal Aid Society, and two pastors of two prominent churches.
"You have the chair of the Adams board, the head of the legal aid society, the Pastors of two of the most significant African-American churches, the head of two very significant civil rights groups," added U.S. Attorney Steven Dettlebach. "People who are police officers are now formally sitting on the same body as people who representatives of the community."
The commission is being born out of the settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland after a lengthy investigation into the city's police department. The city made an agreement with the DOJ to select a group of residents that will help police repair its relationship with residents. The selection panel will choose who those individuals will be. Those interested in applying for the commission will have 30 days to apply once the application is made public.
"And we hope that people who are interested and capable or residents or work in the city of Cleveland will volunteer to serve," Dettlebach said.
The members of the selection panel are:
- Eugenia Cash, LSW, MSSA, CDCA, Chair, Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (A.D.A.M.H.S.) Board of Cuyahoga County
- Gabriella Celeste, Director, Case Western Reserve University Schubert Center for Child Studies
- Rev. Dr. Jawanza Colvin, Pastor, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
- Colleen M. Cotter Esq., Executive Director, Legal Aid Society
- Rev. Jimmy Gates, Pastor, Zion Hill Missionary Baptist
- Anita Gray, President/CEO, Anti-Defamation League
- Phyllis Seven Harris, Executive Director, LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland
- Dr. Alex Johnson, President, Cuyahoga Community College
- Ronald B. Richard, President/CEO, The Cleveland Foundation
- Victor A. Ruiz, Executive Director, Ezperanza Inc.
- Timothy L. Tramble, Executive Director, Bell-Burten-Carr Development Corporation
The justice department's investigation started in March of 2013 and was completed in December 2014. It identified wide-ranging systemic failures in the Police Department. It found a pattern of use of excessive force and violating people's civil rights within the department.
After months of intense negotiations, a settlement agreement was hammered out that outlines issues to be addressed, how to address them, progress that is made and how to monitor and report that progress. Among the details, the city will train officers to work more closely with the community and youth and to establish new policies on use of force and dealing with the mentally ill.
This panel will select 10 of the 13 members while three local police organizations will chose the remaining three.