What will a Trump Presidency mean to Cleveland police reform efforts?

Will Cle police reform change under Trump?

The City of Cleveland and the Justice Department are well along the road into implementing a deal to reform Cleveland's Police Department.

The goal is to make officers less likely to use excessive force and better relate to the community they protect.

Reforming urban police departments was a priority for President Obama's Justice Department.

It likely will not be a major concern for the Justice team and leadership President-elect Trump puts in place.

Some who support reform in Cleveland are anxious .

'I'm very concerned...a wink and a nod and we won't get anything accomplished, and all the promises we were given won't actually be implemented, so 15,  20 years down the road we'll be worse off than we are today," said civil rights lawyer and consent decree observer James Hardiman.

Cleveland Police union President Steve Loomis' main hope for a Trump administration is that it delivers financial assistance to let the department hire more police officers and buy more and better equipment.

Loomis and the CPPA endorsed Trump.

He hopes a Trump-appointed Attorney General brings new eyes to the concept of police reform.

"We can find ways to do things better, but it needs to be justified. What I'd like for a Trump Department of Justice to do is resist the temptation to look at false narratives, " Loomis said.

He believes that Obama's Justice Department rushed to judgment in declaring police at fault in many highly-publicized police shootings.

The head of the Black Shield Association, Lynn Hampton, is also concerned about what a Trump administration would mean to implementing a consent decree.

He says if there's less commitment, then local politicians and "the community has to keep the pedal to the metal to keep moving forward."

U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon was the local Justice Department point person in crafting the consent decree.

She is expected to step down in the near future to make way for a Trump appointee.

Through a spokesman, she expressed no doubt that the agreement will be implemented as intended and the Cleveland Police Department will be a strong example of reform.

U.S. Judge Solomon Oliver is overseeing and making sure the deal between the city and Justice Department becomes reality.

So the consent decree is not shriveling up or going away.

And the process continues. Monday Mayor Frank Jackson swore in three new members of a community panel giving the department advice and suggesting policy changes.

But there are real concerns about the Trump-led Justice Department's new priorities.

Rudy Giuliani has been speculated as a possible Attorney General.

His recent comments in Cleveland calling the Cleveland consent decree an order that "politicized" police reform implied things may be different under President Trump.

He now says he does not want to be Attorney General but would like to help Trump pick the right person.

Election Day will have other consequences for the Cleveland Police Department.

Approval of an income tax hike means there is more money available for safety forces.

Loomis says the union is about to reopen contract negotiations, seeking significant raises to hike the compensation for the lowest-paid big city department in Ohio.

He claims veteran Columbus officers make $24,000 more per year than their counterparts in Cleveland.

 


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