CLEVELAND – As supporters applaud the approval of Number 24, which created a charter amendment giving civilians increased scrutiny of Cleveland Police, opponents have said the amendment will make city streets less safe .
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association has said it will go to court to fight the discipline imposed on officers under the new structure, creating a potential conflict with mayor-elect Justin Bibb as he promises to bring all the parts.
Cleveland voters on Tuesday approved No. 24 by a wide margin of 59% to 41%, according to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Electoral Board.
Supporters, including some families of those killed by officers in Cleveland and Bibb, praised the result.
“We are currently living in our country a moment of national stocktaking when it comes to policing, and I think it’s time to calm down the rhetoric and be honest about how we are going on policing,” said Bibb.
The amendment will give Bibb and the appointed civil councils increased powers.
He asks the mayor to appoint 13 people to a commission with final authority over police training and officer discipline. The commission will oversee misconduct investigations conducted by a civilian council, with the mayor appointing five of the nine council members.
Outgoing Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams have opposed the ballot issue, which removes the Police Division’s power to conduct its own internal investigations and sanction discipline.
Ahead of the election, Bibb said he planned to hire a new police chief. In a post-election interview with FOX 8 News on Wednesday, Bibb pledged to listen to the concerns of a police force widely opposed to Number 24.
“As mayor, I will support you,” Bibb told town police. “I will fight with you and for you, and I will also fight with and for our residents. We have to come together.
CAPP President Jeff Folmer said the change would only exacerbate ongoing staff shortages within the division. So far this year, 156 officers have left the force, including 13 in the last month alone, according to Folmer. These positions have not been filled.
Folmer said nearly 300 more officers are currently eligible for retirement, and he predicted a dire staffing situation by the spring.
“If we’re down from 300 to 400 as planned, it’s going to cripple our police department and it’s going to cripple the patrols,” Folmer said. “It’s going to cripple the way things are tracked.”
Folmer said officers in Cleveland are underpaid compared to suburban departments and will not want to be tried by civilians who have never worked in law enforcement.
“It was all about revenge and gaining power. There’s no ifs and buts, “Folmer said of number 24.” Probably one of the worst days ever for this police-hating bunch to win this and try to take the lead. control of us. “
He said the union will challenge in court any discipline of an agent who violates his union contract and expects the contract to prevail over the charter amendment.
“It takes away everything our contract says for good cause, and it will be opinions, not facts,” Folmer said.
Both Folmer and Bibb said Cleveland police officers need to be paid more. Bibb said officers also need more tools and equipment to do their jobs.
Suggest a correction