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Posted on: May 30, 2020

Statement to the Community from City Manager Tanisha Briley and Chief of Police Annette Mecklenburg

The tragic events this week in Minneapolis and the subsequent protests across the country are a reminder of the work that still remains to address racism in our society. In the year 2020, it is insufferable that millions of Americans are still treated differently because of their race. In Cleveland Heights, we pride ourselves on the diversity and inclusion of our community and this disturbing legacy of excessive use of force, particularly in communities of color, is not acceptable.

The City Council, City Manager, and Police Chief share a commitment to advancing fairness and equity in Cleveland Heights as evidenced by the City’s history of groundbreaking anti-discrimination laws and regulations. The CHPD has implemented policies, practices, and training that reinforce this commitment.

There are many actions regularly taken to assure our residents and visitors that they are treated fairly. The CHPD participates in ongoing cultural and diversity training. Officers learn and employ de-escalation techniques and must adhere to the CHPD’s strict use of force policy. Annual use of force training is required for all officers and all use of force incidents are thoroughly reviewed to ensure the force used was reasonable and within policy guidelines. CHPD officers wear body cameras and they must be on for all citizen encounters. We also demonstrate this commitment through the CHPD’s community outreach programs, transparency, and communication efforts.

Unfortunately, no community is immune to the racially charged episodes that we’ve witnessed most recently in Minneapolis, Louisville, Glynn County, and countless other places. We mourn these senseless deaths and send our prayers out to the families whose lives have been irrevocably changed because of the unnecessary loss of their loved one.

Having confidence in your police department is something we strive for through our outreach and actions. I hope you join us in commending our entire police department for their best practices and protection. We are committed to continue our current efforts and seek out the best approaches to ensure fairness and equity in our law enforcement policies, practices, and training.

Our police department prides itself on its community presence, outreach, and accessibility. We encourage you to reach out to us anytime if you have any concerns or questions.

We are living through challenging times and it is essential that we as a community work together to support and respect our neighbors - all our neighbors.

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