Cleveland is the only city in America that has been investigated by the Department of Justice twice for policing and has long served as a case study for the nation on the need for police reform. In 2021, Cleveland voters mobilized to pass a ballot initiative to improve police accountability and deliver the strongest citizen oversight commission in the United States. Known as Issue 24, the new police accountability measures give citizens the power to make decisions about police recruitment, training and discipline.
Mayor Bibb’s police reform agenda is focused on improving police accountability and public safety.
Police Oversight in Cleveland
The Office of the Mayor undertook a rigorous, community-led selection process to review and evaluate applications to join the new Community Police Commission. The selection process involved two phases: 1) Resident Review Committee to evaluate and shortlist applicants and 2) Selection Advisory Panel to consolidate, screen and interview shortlisted applicants before making recommendations to the Mayor for appointment. A full list of community leaders and representatives invited to serve in the selection process are below.
Resident Review Committee
Archie L. Green, II
Brenda V. Bickerstaff
Cynthia Nozomi Ikuta
Jeffrey A. Claridge
Justin Abdul-Kareem Henton
Rev. Dr. Larry Wayne Howard
Paula J. Kampf
R. L Render III
Pastor Richard M. Gibson
Selina M. Pagan
Selection Advisory Panel
Dr. C. Jay Matthews I
The nominees fulfill specific requirements put in place by Issue 24 in City Charter Section 115 and were carefully selected as the result of an extensive public engagement process, unprecedented for appointments to any Cleveland boards or commissions by any mayor.
Mayor Bibb’s ten nominees are:
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
Teri Wang, 2-year term
Sharena Zayed, 2-year term
Cleveland City Council’s three nominees are:
Dr. John Adams, 4-year term
Shandra Benito, 2-year term
Audrianna Rodriguez, 4-year term
All nominees were randomly allocated two and four-year terms to preserve fairness and the integrity of the selection process. Each nominee is subject to approval by Cleveland City Council.
INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 115-5
The City of Cleveland submitted a letter to Northern District of Ohio Court Judge Solomon Oliver reaffirming the administration’s commitment to police reform, on the one-year anniversary of the passage of Issue 24. The letter provides the City’s independent legal analysis and interpretation of Section 115 and highlights the excellence of the nominees to the new Community Police Commission.
The City maintains that Section 115 does not require that there be a separate member represented on the new CPC for each category listed.
Is the current Community Police Commission still operating?
The current Community Police Commission will continue to operate with its current powers, duties and obligations. Only the new Community Police Commission will have powers outlined in Charter Section 115-5.
Will there be two Community Police Commissions?
No. The current Community Police Commission will be disbanded once a majority of the new Community Police Commission members are appointed and confirmed by Council.
After a Resident Review Committee evaluates and shortlists applications, the mayor will make recommendations to appoint ten out of the 13 members of the new Community Police Commission for Council approval. City Council will appoint three members.
Who decides who will serve on the new Commission?
The Resident Review Committee is a group of over 25 community leaders and Cleveland residents who have an interest in civil rights and police oversight including police association representatives, civil rights advocates, attorneys, medical professionals, neighborhood and faith leaders.
The Resident Review Committee are responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications and providing a shortlist to the administration for further screening and interviews.