Cleveland To Vet 281 Applicants For Community Police Commission!


Cleveland has received 281 applications for the 13-member body that will have final say on police discipline, among other broad civilian oversight powers of police.

Now, the city must sort through the applications and determine who to nominate to the panel, created by a ballot initiative approved by voters last fall and known as the Community Police Commission.

Mayor Justin Bibb will nominate 10 of the applicants. City Council will nominate three. All the nominations will go to council for confirmation.

Bibb announced a two-step process his administration will use to determine which 10 people it wants to nominate to the commission, according to a news release.

The first step involves a 25-member “resident review committee,” which includes several of the key supporters who got the charter amendment on the ballot. That group will whittle down the 281 applicants into a shortlist of 15. That shortlist will be sent to a four-person “selection advisory panel,” which will further vet the candidates. Bibb will also interview those on the shortlist before making his final selections.

Both panels will be chaired by the city’s chief ethics officer, Delanté Spencer Thomas, “to maintain consistency and integrity of the evaluation process,” the release stated.

Bibb hopes council will approve the nominees in July.

“We’re encouraged by the volume of applications received to join the new Community Police Commission,” Bibb said in the release. “It shows that citizens are engaged and committed to police reform. Today, we’re proud to launch a rigorous, community-led evaluation process to ensure diverse voices from the community and our police associations are represented in the selection process.”

Council will determine its list of nominees through its own process, which will likely involve Council President Blaine Griffin working with council leadership and other members to arrive at its recommendations, a council spokeswoman said.


The charter amendment approved by voters last fall requires that members of the Community Police Commission represent a broad slice of Cleveland – “representative of the racial, social, economic, and cultural interests of the community, including those of the racial-minority, immigrant/refugee, LGBTQ+, youth, faith, business, and other communities, to reflect the overall demographics of Cleveland residents.”

At least two members must represent community organizations focused on civil rights.

No more than three members can represent police associations; any who do must have no misconduct on their records. The non-police-association members can’t have served as a law enforcement officer within the last five years, as a city employee within the previous year, or was ever anemployee of Cleveland police or the city’s Department of Public Safety.

Other members are to represent the following categories:

-Limited-English speakers, the homeless, or those with mental-illness and substance-abuse disorders

-Those directly impacted by police violence, or those who have had a family member killed by police

-Those who have been incarcerated and exonerated where police were involved in the wrongful conviction or incarceration

-Gun-violence survivors, or a family member of a person killed by gun violence

– An attorney with experience representing victims of police misconduct or criminally prosecuting police misconduct

The city, in its release, did not say how Bibb selected the members of the panels who will help him decide his nominees to the commission, nor whether the bodies will meet in public for their deliberations.

The members of the resident review committee are:

Alicia Kirkman, Archie L. Green, II Ariel Cathcart, Brenda V. Bickerstaff, Brendan Trewella, Chris Knestrick, Crystal Bryant, Cynthia Nozomi Ikuta, Emmanuel Vélez, Fred Ward, James O’Malley, Jazmin Long, Jeff Follmer, Jeffrey A. Claridge, Justin Abdul-Kareem Henton, Rev. Dr. Larry Wayne Howard, LaTonya Goldsby, Luther Roddy, Melekte Melaku, Nora Kelley, Paula J. Kampf, R. L Render III, Pastor Richard M. Gibson, Samara Knight, and Selina M. Pagan.

The members of the selection advisory panel are: Douglas Horner, Phyllis Harris, Dr. C. Jay Matthews and Linda Hinton.