Cleveland’s consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department to address excessive use of force by police officers will cost the city about $13.2 million next year and at least $8 million in each of the following four years, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. Among the most expensive line items are the monitor hired to oversee compliance, which could cost between $4.5 million and $12 million over five years, and training, which will cost $4.2 million over the next two years in overtime, technology and other resources. The city also expects next year to spend $3.4 million upfront on a new records management system, a computer aided dispatch system and other equipment and hardware.
The staggering projections for training, technology upgrades and an enhanced internal review process, among other costly reforms, incited anxiety among some council members, who worried about the impact the expenses might have on the city’s bottom line. “Well, uh, that’s — a lot of money,” Council President Kevin Kelley said once officials completed a presentation on the plan. “It has to have profound implications on other services. … This is a large chunk of our budget, and it will be all hands on deck to figure out solutions to this.” Councilman Zack Reed said the private sector bears as much responsibility to fix the problems within the police department as Cleveland taxpayers. “In May, the business community said it would do its part,” Reed said. “Well, I’m from the Jerry Maguire school that says, ‘Show me the money.'”