CLEVELAND -- City leaders say perception is not always reality.
An independent study by the Police Executive Research Forum reported Cleveland Police had "sound and comprehensive" policies and procedures related to the use of force.
"The assumption that no one follows the general police order. That's not so. Most do, and you demonstrate that through showing reduction of the use of force," said Mayor Frank Jackson.
Jackson pointed out statistics that show deadly force down 54 percent, from 17 deadly shootings in 2006 to 12 in 2012. There have been six deaths from force in 2013 to date.
The report, by think tank PERF, examined policies on use of force and how they work within CPD.
"We have been showing a decline over the years, so we know we're doing it right," said Chief Michael McGrath.
Doing it right. That's much different than Attorney General Mike Dewine's response to a November use of force incident that left two dead 137 bullets later.
Dewine called the incident "a systematic failure."
"I didn't accept it then, and I don't accept it now that there's a systemic problem," said Jackson. "This is an indication and proof that we do follow what comes out of our mouth. And that is what we will set up protocols, processes, procedures ... all that in order to accomplish this recreating the trust between the public and the division of police."
City leaders say this report, commissioned in March 2011, didn't focus on any one incident. The report includes 26 recommendations, all in place except one announced Wednesday.
In a national best practice change, now officers are not to fire at or from a moving vehicle -- without exception.
The city says these statistics show that the department is moving in the right direction and the recommendations from the study should help them get there.
But that doesn't mean there won't be any problems ahead.
"There are those situations. There are those instances where you're going to have a problem," said McGrath. "We're not going to bat 100 percent all the time. I understand that. But we're trying to lower the probability and provide officers with the training and the policies and procedures so when they do make those decisions, they make the right decisions.
"We had a tragedy take place. I'm not a bit happy. I'm satisfied that PERF did a good job."