Cleveland voters pass Issue 24 to increase civilian oversight of police

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Clevelanders voted in favor of Issue 24, the charter amendment to establish more civilian oversight of the Cleveland Division of Police.

It was passing 59 percent to 41 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

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The amendment creates the Community Police Commission, which will be the would be the final authority on the extent of discipline for police officers and other police employees. It also has final say on policies for police recruitment, exams for new recruits, officer training, maintaining records and outreach efforts.

Under Issue 24, the Civilian Police Review Board gets expanded duties like issuing complaints of alleged police misconduct and requiring investigation into all complaints. It also now oversees the Office of Professional Standards, which is an independent agency in the Cleveland Department of of Public Safety and consists of only civilian employees.

Read the full amendment below:

The Cleveland Division of Police’s top brass, including safety director Karrie Howard, opposed Issue 24, while the candidates for mayor had different stances.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley said Issue 24 would make things worse by taking money out of neighborhood safety programs. Nonprofit leader Justin Bibb, who won the mayoral race, was in favor of the amendment.

“Without trust between police and residents, we don’t have safety. That’s why I support Issue 24 because I believe it is a good step in the right direction to restore trust between police and residents,” Bibb said. “This is to make sure our residents have equal justice under the law that they deserve.”

Citizens for a Safer Cleveland, which was formed in June and includes Black Lives Matter Cleveland, ACLU of Ohio and NAACP Cleveland, petitioned for the proposed amendment.

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