In December, Gov. John Kasich commissioned a task force to "address the fractured relationships that exist between some communities and the police dedicated to serving them." In short, the task force's recommendations, published this past week, urge a greater emphasis on training, accountability and oversight.
Read the executive summary:
The 692-page report
goes into detail on those fronts. For example, in the "accountability and oversight" silo: Task force members recommend "creating an ongoing body to continue to review the issue of community-police relations, and to monitor the implementation and progress of the final recommendations that come out of the Task Force. This body should include a cross-section of community members, law enforcement, academia, elected officials, and clergy."
Other points call for increased police integration in schools and a statewide database of police-involved shootings.
"There is a need to create some mechanism by which the community at large can express themselves," State Sen. Nina Turner said of the task force's creation. "The community needs the police, and the police need the community. But people want to be respected." She said that the state of Ohio has been in a state of emergency for some time now, despite the national focus being planted firmly upon Baltimore at the moment.
Former U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes similarly praised the report, saying that Cleveland must step up to the plate and reform its approach to community relations.
As negotiations continue between the city of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice, the task force report will be a helpful backdrop — provided the city is listening.