New, independent Community Police Commissioners officially approved
Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 – Cleveland, OH – Cleveland’s new Community Police Commission was officially approved on Monday, following the adoption of a resolution by Cleveland City Council appointing all 13 nominees at its December 5, 2022, meeting.
The resolution adopted by City Council is effective upon the signature of Mayor Justin M. Bibb, resulting in the appointment of the following Cleveland Community Police Commissioners: Dr. John Adams, Shandra Benito, James M. Chura, Charles Donaldson Jr., Pastor Kyle Earley, Alana Garrett-Ferguson, Cait Kennedy, Gregory Reaves, Jan Ridgeway, Piet van Lier, Audrianna Rodriguez, Teri Wang and Sharena Zayed. To ensure fairness, all nominees were randomly allocated either two or four-year terms.
Unlike the previous commission, according to Charter Section 115-5, the newly established commission will now serve as the overarching authority in conjunction with the Civilian Police Review Board to conduct investigations and hand down decisions, rather than recommendations on police misconduct.
Established just over a year after residents voted in favor of Issue 24, the new commission is unlike any other in the country. It replaces the existing commission as a permanent, independent oversight body with increased resources and authority to make tough decisions on police training, policies and discipline.
“This is an historic moment in our city’s long journey towards police reform. While Cleveland’s Community Police Commission first emerged out of the consent decree, this commission will live beyond it with greater powers and real independence to truly make a difference,” Mayor Justin M. Bibb stated. “This commission is destined to leave a legacy of progress. With the changes implemented by the charter amendment, it’s strong enough to deliver real accountability and make lasting change,” Mayor Bibb added.
Commissioners were selected by the community following an extensive public engagement process involving over 25 community leaders, including the original framers of Issue 24, police union representatives and others. Together, they determined the shortlist of applicants and guided the interview process.
In addition to undergoing interviews by a five-member Selection Advisory Panel and background checks, all nominees were subject to extensive interviews by the Mayor’s Appointments Committee (MAC).
After responding directly to questions about their personal experiences with law enforcement, motivations for serving on the commission and commitment to Cleveland, the MAC recommended that the full Council approve all nominees for appointment.
The new members of the commission broadly represent the racial, social, economic and cultural diversity of the city including members who represent immigrant/refugee, LGBTQ+, youth, faith and business communities. Several of the appointed commissioners are also members from civil rights organizations, one commissioner is a designated police association representative, and many have personal experiences that fulfil the intent of Charter Section 115-5.
To support the work of the new commission, the Bibb administration is committed to fully funding the commission at the level prescribed in the Charter.
As a final step and in accordance with the Charter, the Commissioners must take an oath of office before entering the duties of their new office and will undergo a customized training program.
2022 Cleveland Community Police Commissioners
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
Sharena Zayed, 2-year term