On December 21st, 2022, the City of Cleveland announced that all 13 members of Cleveland’s new Community Police Commission have now been officially sworn in. This action dissolves the Commission established by the Consent Decree in 2015 and replaces it with the reformed Commission passed by voters last November through Issue 24.
Law Director Mark Griffin administered the new commissioners’ oath of office in several ceremonies in December 2022, following their approval and appointment by Cleveland City Council early in December.
Under oath, each commissioner declared that they will faithfully, honestly, and impartially discharge the duties of the Community Police Commission, officially finalizing the formation of one of the strongest bodies of its kind in the nation.
“In our first year, we made police reform a top priority – and the stage is set for the new Commission to hit the ground running in 2023,” Mayor Justin M. Bibb said.
The Commission has the authority to review police discipline and policies and is expected to turn its focus on training and operational priorities, starting with establishing bylaws, selecting a Chair, and nominating an Executive Director as its first order of business.
Training proposed for the new commissioners is intended to be delivered in partnership with the framers of Issue 24, senior leadership from the Cleveland Division of Police, and experts in civilian oversight. Topics will elevate the voices of victims’ families and educate commissioners on General Police Orders and experiences on the frontlines of policing in Cleveland.
Under the Consent Decree, the new Commission replaces the existing one effective immediately. It will be allocated a new budget in 2023, which will include a grant-making budget of at least 0.5% of the budget for the Division of Police. Current Commission staff will remain in place to ensure a smooth transition until the new Commission makes hiring decisions.
Their first meeting has not yet been scheduled but is expected early in 2023.
The new Cleveland Community PoliceCommissioners are: Dr. John Adams, 4-year term; Shandra Benito, 2-year term; James M. Chura, 4-year term; Charles Donaldson Jr., 4-year term; Pastor Kyle Earley, 2-year term; Alana Garrett-Ferguson, 4-year term; Cait Kennedy, 2-year term; Gregory Reaves, 2-year term; Jan Ridgeway, 4-year term; Piet van Lier, 4-year term; Audrianna Rodriguez, 4-year term; Teri Wang, 2-year term; and Sharena Zayed, 2-year term.