New use-of-force training for Cleveland police to be delayed

CLEVELAND (AP) " Cleveland police won't be fully trained on new use-of-force policies by year's end as planned, according to a new schedule filed in connection with the city's agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to reform the police department.

The new schedule has officers being trained by March 31. Though several factors affected that, the biggest reason for the delay is that the new policies aren't done yet, Cleveland.com (http://bit.ly/2fchSF7 ) reported.

Matthew Barge, who leads the team monitoring the reform agreement, said the city and the Justice Department are incorporating public feedback they received, and they expect to finish them in the coming weeks.

"Everybody I think agreed that training needs to be comprehensive and needs to be done right, and there's really no sense in sending officers to a half-baked training," Barge said.

Changing how Cleveland police officers use lethal and non-lethal force is a key element in the reform agreement. Cleveland officials and the Justice Department agreed to the court-monitored consent decree in May 2015 after a DOJ investigation found a pattern and practice of officers using excessive force and violating people's civil rights.

Any changes in scheduling under the agreement would require approval from the federal judge overseeing it.

Under the new schedule, Cleveland officials would have to submit a draft of revised internal investigation policies, including investigations of use of force, by Friday. A framework for implementing community-oriented policing would be due from the monitoring team by Nov. 29, and the final draft of the new body-camera policy for Cleveland police would be submitted by Dec. 12. By Feb. 10, the city would draft policies on crisis intervention and how to train officers on that.

Other scheduled benchmarks in the reform agreement have been pushed back previously. Barge and city officials said planning for the Republican National Convention that was held in Cleveland affected many of those delays.

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Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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