By Nick Castele
Posted March 4th 2019
(PHOTO: CLEVELAND CONSENT DECREE MONITOR MATTHEW BARGE)
Cleveland’s division of police will staff its neighborhood districts based on volume of calls under a new plan awaiting a federal judge’s sign-off.
The division is adopting what’s called a “workload-based” approach. Police analyzed calls for service in 2016 based on location, time of day, type and other categories. Cleveland plans to staff its five districts and three daily shifts based on that data.
Matthew Barge, the monitor overseeing Cleveland’s police reform agreement with the Justice Department, recommended that U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver approve the plan.
Barge wrote that the plan gives officers time in their schedules for community engagement.
A proposal submitted in court earlier last month would expect patrol officers to spend about one-fifth of their time on engagement, such as attending meetings, going on bicycle patrol and working with neighbors to solve problems.
According to the city’s plan, security alarms pose a major problem for deployment. Police responded to more than 23,000 alarms in 2015, almost all of which were false.
The division aims to increase numbers not just in street patrol, but also in investigative units, according to the plan. Cleveland is still below its planned staffing levels in the homicide and special victims sections.
Barge wrote that the city, DOJ and monitoring team will continue to discuss staffing of specialty units not addressed in the plan, such as internal affairs and training.