What to know about Issue 24

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– When Clevelanders go to the polls on Nov. 2 to vote for the city’s next mayor, they will also decide on Issue 24.

The proposed charter amendment would reorganize authority over the Cleveland Division of Police. The full amendment is a complex, 24-page read. (You can see it here.)

The plan starts with changes to the Office of Professional Standards, which is an independent agency in the Cleveland Department of of Public Safety and consists of only civilian employees. It investigates non-criminal complaints from the public against Cleveland Division of Police employees with the goal of increased accountability and public confidence.

Under Issue 24, the Office of Professional Standards would report to the Civilian Police Review Board, which would also see expanded duties like issuing complaints of alleged police misconduct and requiring investigation into all complaints.

The charter amendment would also create the Community Police Commission, which would receive at least $1 million in annual funding. The commission would be the final authority on the extent of discipline for police officers and other police employees.

The newly-created Community Police Commission would also have final say on policies for police recruitment, exams for new recruits, officer training, maintaining records and outreach efforts.

The Cleveland Division of Police’s top brass, including safety director Karrie Howard, oppose Issue 24. In a handout, they called it, “A problematic proposal” and, “Ripe for lengthy litigation.”

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.

The general election is Nov. 2. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Early voting is available at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

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