The people in attendance at Hispanic Alliance are professionals, retirees, and concerned Clevelanders who want to see a change in the way their police department does its job.
They are all potential members of the Community Police Commission being appointed by Mayor Frank Jackson.
This was the second meeting. After a brief presentation, the selection committee laid out the responsibilities appointed to the group.
The mandate of the Commission is to:
-Make recommendations to the Chief of Police and the City of Cleveland, including the Mayor and City Council, on policies and practices related to community and problem-oriented policing, bias-free policing, and police transparency.
-Work with the many communities that make up Cleveland for the purpose of developing recommendations for police practices that reflect an understanding of the values and priorities of Cleveland residents.
-Report to the City and community as a whole and provide transparency on police department reforms.
"I think what really concerns me is how they are going to pick the people," Zane Abolins said who has already filled out her application.
There are 13 slots to fill. Three are given to police union members. The other ten to the public. Each will hold a four year term.
Members of the following groups are encouraged to apply:
-Faith based organizations
-Civil rights advocates
-The business/philanthropic community
-Organizations representing communities of color
-Youth or student organization
-Academic individuals with expertise in the challenges facing people with mental illness or the homeless
"Any community is made of its members and constituents," said Clevelander Gil Cody. "It's as good as we invest in it. If you give good input you should get good output."
One of the problems people have with the commission is that as a member, they will not have the opportunity to discipline officers they feel have done wrong. But, on the other side, they will be able to address issues like the use of excessive force and push for transparency with the department.
Members will be required to sacrifice a day a week to the job for no pay.