"Listening Tour" Report Promises Community Response Will Influence Public Safety Agenda

In the Zone. - ClevelandCityCouncil.org
In the Zone.
At a public safety committee meeting Wednesday morning, Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone presented his report summarizing the "listening tour" he spearheaded on behalf of council in the wake of community outrage over police brutality.

The 11-page report, complete with some very nice photos, laid out the highlights of DOJ report; congratulated city council itself for the proactive approach to dialogue; and condensed resident feedback into seven prominent themes.

The report said that 600 people attended the listening tour events, held over the course of four weeks at various locations across town. Many residents attended all four.   

Residents voiced concerns on a range of topics, but most comments fell within the following categories, the report said: 
  1. Lack of community policing
  2. Fear of police
  3. Lack of police training and equipment
  4. Lack of trust in department leadership to reform and correct problems
  5. Abuse of police power
  6. Effectiveness of the Civilian Police Review Board
  7. Disparity between police and citizens in how their cases are handled in the justice system. 
Zone hinted at the community's reaction during a council caucus Monday (before the batshit stuff), and reiterated earlier statements that the report will help establish an agenda for many of 2015's safety committee hearings. He urged council members to meet with him privately if there was an issue they felt needed urgent attention. 

Zone also told councilman Jeff Johnson that he would present the report to the consent decree negotiators. 

"We have a lot of work to do," Zone said in the report's conclusion. "As the Department of Justice directly asserted, the trust between the Cleveland Division of Police and many of the communities it serves is broken. Our challenge is to restore that trust, as well as the trust between Cleveland citizens and their elected officials." 

The report can be viewed in its entirety here. 

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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