CLEVELAND — The heads of the Cleveland police department’s two unions remain wary about some conclusions drawn in a U.S. Justice Department report alleging a pattern and practice of excessive use of force by officers. But they also hope an eventual agreement between the city and the department will result in improvements.
Jeff Follmer leads the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, which represents more than 1,200 officers on the 1,500-member force. He is hopeful the agreement will result in officers being provided equipment that surrounding suburban departments have had for years.
Brian Betley leads the union representing sergeants, lieutenants and captains. He thinks the agreement could help reduce mistrust between police and citizens.
The city and the Justice Department are negotiating a reform-minded consent decree that a judge must approve and an independent monitor will oversee.