Judge rules Cleveland Police training will take place in Columbus

Judge rules Cleveland Police training will take place in Columbus

(WOIO) - Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Friedland decided Friday that Cleveland police cadets should and will train in Columbus with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

On Thursday, the city and the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association met for a second day in court, amid concerns of where the training should take place.

The question was whether Cleveland violated city code and city charter when entering into Memorandum of Understanding with the OSHP to train the police department's 135th cadet class in Columbus with state troopers, instead of at the Cleveland Police Academy.

The judge ultimately sided with the city.

Police Chief Calvin Williams and Public Safety Director Michael McGrath entered testimony supporting the MOU because training is already underway for officers under the Department of Justice's Consent Decree, as well as preparation for the Republican National Convention in 2016.

"This is the right decision and I am pleased that Judge Carolyn Friedland ruled in our favor. This partnership will result in excellent training for our cadets," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety retained a grant that would offer free basic training to 50 Cleveland police cadets. The cadets will train in Columbus for four months, then return to Cleveland for an additional four to six weeks of training specific to Cleveland.

Some officials worry the travel will be difficult for cadets, and many may be forced to drop out. The fear is it will harm efforts at minority recruiting and eliminate women with children.

The training made available by the OSHP must begin by next Wednesday, however.

The state of Ohio granted the CPPA a temporary restraining order prohibiting the cadet class from starting their basic training last week.

The city of Cleveland has delayed the basic training for cadets twice this year.

CPPA President Steve Loomis says the police union was not notified of the city's MOU with the OSHP until July 2015, approximately five months after the agreement had been reached. Cadets and Cleveland Police Academy staff were also unaware until several months after cadets went through their application process and reviews.

Cleveland Police Sgt. Shawn Smith, the officer in charge of basic training at the Cleveland Police Academy, was subpoenaed Thursday. Smith testified that he believes the Cleveland Police Academy is better than the OSHP's academy because the cadets are trained on basic academy curriculum and Cleveland policies simultaneously.

Smith believes that if the Cleveland Police Academy is at full staff, police can receive additional training as needed, per the DOJ Consent Decree, prepare for the RNC, and put its cadet class through all at once.

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