More Cleveland Police officers have left so far this year compared to last year

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 8:35 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 Investigates has uncovered a concerning trend.

In the first three and a half months of this year, about 70 Cleveland Police officers have left the department.

We are examining whether this could have anything to do with the voter-approved, new charter amendment of police oversight, called Issue 24.

New police oversight is starting to take shape in the city, under a new mayor.

The police union was against the measure and claimed it would spur mass retirements.

So 19 Investigates is continuing to track the numbers.

The Cleveland Police Department is already short on officers, according to public safety officials.

The department is down about 240 officers.

And new data shows it continues to lose men and women in the force.

City records show CPD lost 71 officers, including the former police chief, from January through mid-April this year.

48 officers left in the same time period in 2021, a nearly 48% increase.

Reasons for leaving include retirements, resignations, terminations, and deaths.

19 Investigates took a closer look at just retirements and resignations from January through March, the months we have full data on.

We found that 28 officers resigned and retired during those months in 2021.

This year, 52 officers resigned and retired during that same time period, almost double the number from last year.

We also found nine officers left from academy classes. All of them resigned except one, who was fired.

Two homicide detectives retired and Third District lost the most personnel, 13 officers.

It’s hard to say whether Issue 24 is really behind this.

There are many factors why officers could be resigning and retiring.

But one thing we do know, looking at the data, is more officers are leaving compared to last year so far this year.

Issue 24 creates a civilian police oversight review board for Cleveland Police.

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb is still taking applications for a 13-person commission.

They just extended the deadline until May 9.

City council members will have to approve each member.

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