Cleveland Police asking for your input on recruiting, staffing and community policing changes

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In June it will have been three years since the City of Cleveland Police Department (CPD) entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) after a series of investigations into the department's use of force that included the death of Tamir Rice.

What's known as the Consent Decree gives the city ten years to make changes on a long list of issues.

Today, for the first time, the committee has released a survey looking for your comments about changes proposed in three areas:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Staffing Plans
  3. Community and Problem Oriented Policing

"We have now come to the point where it is time for community feedback on each of these related plans," the introduction to the survey reads. "The Consent Decree stakeholders are all aiming to work together to solicit and receive input on these policies from the Cleveland community."

The survey gives you a summary of the proposed changes and then asks you a series of questions as to whether or not the changes will help curb violence, if they need more community input and if the explanation helps you understand the policy.

What are some of the proposed changes?

Recruiting:

The City of Cleveland is in the midst of trying to recruit and hire 250 new officers.

The major change to recruitment seems to be that all academies will be held in Cleveland.

The most recent classes had been sent to Columbus to train in the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy where recruits would live for the week and travel home on weekends.

The Cleveland Police Union fought hard against having the academy in Columbus and appears to have won this battle.

The City is also looking to change the entry-level exam to better, "identify desirable traits of urban community officers."

They also want to use social media and advertising to highlight, "Women of CPD" in hopes of recruiting more women.

The plan also wants to hold a series of beauty and barber shop talks in hopes of recruiting a more diverse class of candidates.

Finally, in the area of recruiting that will have a component of community policing, there will be a "Community Engagement Day" for all recruits.

They will spend the day out in the community learning about the history of the neighborhood and the people who live there.

This will be done in conjunction with a number of community partners including the NAACP, LGBT Community Center, Jr. Achievement, Boys & Girls Clubs and the Cleveland Community Schools.

Staffing levels:

The goals set in the staffing level proposed changes are focused on violent crime reduction, Community and Problem Oriented Policing Plan (CPOP), and compliance to the Consent decree.

In this plan, they will focus on having enough police per capita, minimum staffing levels and workload.

For detectives and investigative units, they want to find a way to let them devote more time to individual cases and engage the community.

The plan wants to reduce workload in areas that can waste an officer's time.

To do this they want to find a better way to handle verified alarm responses for the numerous businesses that have alarms go off for no reason.

They also want to invest in a web-based system for the public to report crimes.

Finally, looking at new technology to help cut down on administrative time.

Community and Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP):

The idea behind community policing is that if officers spend less time in their cruisers and more time out and interacting with the community, the residents will better trust and understand the hard work officers do.

The proposed change is to have each officer spend 20 percent of their duty time on community engagement trying to build better relationships with the public.

"All officers are responsible for engaging in community and problem-oriented policing without regard to where they are assigned," the proposal stated.

The survey asks for very little personal information like your first name and your zip code.

It will be available through July 15.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.