Policy and Procedure



  • Police Accountability: The City and CDP will ensure that all allegations of officer misconduct, whether internally discovered or alleged by a civilian, are fully, fairly, and efficiently investigated; that all investigative findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence and documented in writing; and that all officers who commit misconduct are held accountable pursuant to a disciplinary system that is fair, consistent, and provides due process. (Source: Consent Decree)



  • District Policing Committees: The five committees (representing each police district) tasked with working in cooperation with the City of Cleveland Community Relations Board, the CPC, and the CDP to ‘identify strategies to address crime and safety issues in their District.’ (Source: Cleveland Police Monitoring Team: First Semiannual Report)


  • Office of Professional Standards: The City agency responsible for the intake and investigation of civilian complaints on police misconduct. (Source: Consent Decree)


Bias-Free Policing

  • Bias-free Policing: Policing that is accomplished without the selective enforcement or non-enforcement of the law, including the selection or rejection of particular policing tactics or strategies, based on the subject’s membership in a demographic category. (Source: Consent Decree


  • Civil Rights: A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. (Source: Cornell University Law School)



  • Crisis Intervention Training (CIT): CDP will provide training on responding to individuals in crisis to all of its officers and recruits. Each CDP officer will receive 8 hours of CIT and annual in-service training thereafter. All new recruits will receive 16 hours of CIT. Officers specializing in CIT will receive 40+ hours of this training. (Source: Consent Decree)


Use of Force

For all definitions related to use of force, please see the Use of Force Definitions draft.


The following are some key definitions related to this policy, which can be found in the above document:


  • Force: Means the following actions by an officer: any physical strike, (e.g., punches, kicks), any intentional contact with an instrument, or any physical contact that restricts movement of a subject. The term includes, but is not limited to, the use of firearms, electronic control weapon (CEW – e.g. Taser), ASP, chemical spray, hard empty hands, or the taking of a subject to the ground. Reportable force does not include escorting or handcuffing a subject, with no more than minimal resistance.


  • Deadly Force: Is any action that is likely to cause or does cause death or serious physical harm. It may involve firearms, but also includes any force or instrument of force (e.g. vehicle, edged weapon) capable of causing death or serious physical harm. Deadly force includes firing at or in the direction of a subject, head and/or neck strikes with any hard object, and any action that restricts the blood or oxygen flow through the neck.


  • De-escalation: Is the process of taking action to stabilize the situation and reduce the immediacy and level of a threat so that more time, options, and resources are available to resolve the situation and gain voluntary compliance. De-escalation techniques may include, but are not limited to, gathering information about the incident, assessing the risks, verbal persuasion, advisements and warnings, and tactical de-escalation techniques, such as slowing down the pace of the incident, waiting out subjects, creating distance (reactionary gap) between the officer and the threat, repositioning, and requesting additional resources (e.g., specialized CIT officers or negotiators).


  • Necessary: Officers will use physical force only when no reasonably effective alternative appears to exist, and only then to the degree which is reasonable to effect a lawful purpose.





Community Outreach and Engagement


  • Community Engagement Assessment Tool: The CPC will be collecting feedback from various organizations and community members to pinpoint the gaps between reforms/policies and the community’s needs. This is an ongoing process that aims to improve community-police relations and promote public safety. 

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