Sam Allard / Scene
Jackson & Dettelbach, taking the "first step toward reform."
Per the Consent Decree and the urging of deadline-conscious Judge Solomon Oliver, Mayor Frank Jackson has appointed an 11-member panel whose mandate is the selection of a Community Police Commission.
Jackson said that, after consultation with the DOJ and City Council, (plus non-required input from the public) he has assembled a team of incredibly accomplished individuals.
"They're good people," Mayor Jackson said in a press conference Tuesday morning at the Federal Courthouse.
Among the 11 are leaders from many of the city's civil rights and philanthropic organizations: Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation; Phyllis Harris, Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center; Victor Ruiz, Executive Director of Esperanza Inc.; Anita Gray, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League; and Colleen Cotter, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
Also among them are two pastors from prominent African-American Churches — Rev. Jawanza Karriem Colvin from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church and Rev. Jimmy Gates, from Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church — and other leaders of major area institutions: Alex Johnson, President of Tri-C; Eugenia Cash, Chair of the ADAMHS Board.
Timothy Tramble, Executive Director of Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc., and Gabriella Celeste, Director of Child Policy at Case's Schubert Center for Child Studies, are the panel's final two members.
"If I could use one word to describe the panel," said U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach, "it would be independent."
The panel will accept applications over the next 30 days (an application that they will devise and disseminate) and will make their selections during the subsequent 30 days.
The Consent Decree stipulates that the 13-member Community Police Commission will have three members from local Police organizations. The remaining 10 seats will be appointed by the panel announced today. It will be the first Commission of its kind in Cleveland, where police officers and members of the community will serve alongside each other.
"They'll have to learn to work together," said Dettelbach.
Both Jackson and Dettelbach stressed their gratitude to the 11 members who will volunteer their time, and said that, though members were only informed of their selection Tuesday morning, they were already eager to begin work.
Neither Jackson nor Dettelbach presumed to comment on the Panel's forthcoming selection methodology or internal hierarchy. They said that they city would of course provide any support and staffing the panel required, but as to who's in charge, where and when they'll meet, and how they'll make their final selections for the Commission — that's up to them.