Police Union Prez Concerned That Officers Will Put Themselves in Greater Danger to Get Out of Doing 'Paperwork'

In a classic CPPA twist to the newly announced Cleveland-DOJ consent decree, Union President Steve Loomis is frustrated that new requirements to fill out reports in use-of-force incidents will discourage officers from drawing their guns in presumably dangerous situations.

Part of the consent decree requires an officer to file a report every time he or she engages in use of force (anything from "pressure point compliance" to a fatal shooting).

It's unclear how long or how torturous the report process might be, but Loomis is concerned that the new requirement will be a disincentive to officers' safety on the job: "It's going to get somebody killed. There's going to be a time when someone isn't going to want to do that paperwork, so he's going to keep that gun in its holster."

That's from a report over at NEOMG. Again: "There's going to be a time when someone isn't going to want to do that paperwork, so he's going to keep that gun in its holster."

Based on our city's ongoing discourse — and the DOJ's findings — maybe that's the point? Would Officer Timothy Loehmann, already labeled as "dismal" with a handgun on the range and "weepy" and "distracted" on the job, have been distracted enough by the threat of word processing to think twice before drawing his gun on Nov. 22, 2014?

A psychological check — however absurd here — might do wonders.

But Loomis' argument is a slippery slope, and one not worth tumbling down in light of the seriousness coming from ongoing public safety negotiations from the Cleveland community as a whole. The natural corollary here is that police officers will hold the abstract concept of "paperwork" above even their own safety in the field. If the head of the CPPA truly believes that his officers will allow the threat of new paperwork requirements to dissuade them from law enforcement — from protection and servitude, from their jobs — then we might want to hail down the DOJ folks as they head out the door this week. "Wait! Come back!"

Read the full consent decree, sans union conjecture, here
Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.