Criminalizing Race:

The Pervasive Nature of Ideology

 By LaToya Logan, Social Worker 

After attending several Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) facilitated community police education forums purposed to increase awareness and buy-in to the proposed Community and Problem-Oriented Policing (CPOP) policy, there were many positives to highlight. The CDP staff selected to represent and promote the intended outcomes of the policy appeared genuinely invested and passionate about transformative change and building community relationships. Words such as “accountability,” “service” and “transparency” were heralded as the principle values of CPOP – sparking a new approach to policing premised on collaborations and collective identification of solutions for community needs. A much-needed fresh direction appearing to fulfill the spirit of the consent decree. However, there remains a problem, is it only an appearance? Considering recent information, it seems progress is yet again stifled by the CDP’s lack of insight of the root causes of community hostility and mistrust.

 

On July 13th, an article published on Cleveland.com provided details regarding an investigation into potential illegal behavior and police misconduct, which exposed the use of language which could only be characterized as racist. While the CDP and the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) condemned the language in separate statements, it did little to reassure citizens of change. In fact, the only “reprimand” applied was limited to mandatory attendance at a sensitivity training and a letter of “reinstruction.” Read more

 

     

“No CPOP without the engagement of the Community”
by Dr. V. Y. Conner
 

       As a member of the Cleveland Community Police Commission (CPC), my role is to work towards removing challenges that cause responses to sound like a single narrative or story.  I want to be part of a CPOP narrative process that helps community members obtain power and be welcomed in applying the knowledge that they have acquired from personal stories or stories of the extended family who have had interactions with law enforcement. We endeavor to remove the challenge created when unexamined cultural discourse leads to oppressing a community member’s agency in claiming his or her own self-knowledge about their own experiences (M. White 2007).

     It has been demonstrated that a constant emphasis on remembering the pain and agitating anger in community organizing wears people down physically. It is important to balance pain and anger with faith and hope as a healthy way of refreshing and rejuvenating one’s commitment to lead change. We believe CPOP is a major cornerstone where the voice of the community and the premise of safety in neighborhoods to promote healthy relations will yield us a collective vision for productive ways to address concerns turn toward a new reality. The best solutions for community concerns and problems arise from citizens co-creating possibilities through open relationships. The Commission remains committed to reaching out to and bringing forward the voice of those who are most vulnerable amongst us. Getting to know community members that do not typically attend meetings and who may have little trust in officers requires officers to engage them in places where they are most comfortable (pg.12, draft CPOP policy). Read more

Community Problem-Oriented Policing (CPOP): A Critical Review of Perception
By LaToya Logan
 
The process of reforming the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) towards transformative and bias-free policing has been met equally with support and opposition. Those who believe it is possible, rely on a combination of advocacy for strengthening policies, innovative training, reflective hiring practices, and of course, hope for the future. Those seemingly opposed, appear to be lost in translation. They are unable to materialize the application of the proposed policies on the daily practices of officers or they have lost faith in the leadership of the CDP and the City of Cleveland, to effectively hold officers accountable to the community. Regardless of where you find yourself on the continuum of potential police reform, acceptance of one truth is necessary if progress is sought. Our perception is not THEE reality for everyone. Each person’s perception of their reality has validity and is rooted in their experience (Read more).

COMMUNITY PROBLEM-ORIENTED POLICING! 

It’s on the horizon for The CLE ...

 by  Rev. Dr. V. Yvonne Conner

The Cleveland Community Police Commission emerges out of the settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland. On September 8, 2015, thirteen (13) individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences were sworn in to serve as Commissioners for four years. We pledged to volunteer our time and energy on behalf of the citizens of Cleveland to participate in rebranding the way service is delivered by the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) Read more.

 

Please check back for more Commissioner Shares and dialouge throughout the CPOP policy draft process!

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