On this webpage, the City will share periodic updates related to implementation of the Framework for Maintaining a Safe and Just Shaker, which was adopted by City Council in Resolution 23-67, on August 28, 2023.
The City of Shaker Heights acknowledges that profiling and bias in policing exist throughout our nation, and that this national problem has disproportionately negatively impacted people of color. The City is committed to its efforts to combat this problem by continuing to work toward safe, equitable, transparent, and accountable policing; avoiding biased or discriminatory policing; and striving to achieve a just city for all persons who live in, work in, and visit Shaker Heights.
As one of only 4 percent of police departments nationwide to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditations for Law Enforcement Agencies, the Shaker Heights Police Department adheres to the highest professional standards.
On August 28, 2023, at the request of the City's Administration, the Shaker Heights City Council passed a resolution adopting a Framework for Maintaining a Safe and Just Shaker Heights, stating the City's intention to implement the following actions:
- To conduct a community-wide Listening Project, designed and facilitated by an independent third-party facilitator and/or consultant, to have a community-wide discussion on policing policies and practices;
- To continue working towards an expansion of the City's Mental Health Response Program;
- To create a Community Advisory Group to advise the Mayor (in their elected role and as safety director), the Police Chief, the Chief Administrative Officer, and City Council; and
- To post online certain public records of the Shaker Heights Police Department to make access easier for the public, including some data by demographic and other metrics.
The Listening Project is to be a community-wide project to listen to residents and encourage residents to speak out and have community conversations about any concerns and suggestions about police policies and practices, and particularly about any real or perceived bias in policing in the city. The Listening Project will also include discussions about specific police policy and practice reform proposals, the City’s Mental Health Response Program, and a public records repository.
In October 2023, the City issued a Request for Proposals seeking a consultant to implement the Listening Project. During December 2023, an internal team is reviewing proposals submitted. It is expected that City Council will be asked to approve a consultant's contract in January 2024. The City will publicize any public engagement opportunities that occur as part of this project. A public presentation of a final report is expected by September 2024.
Expansion of the Mental Health Response Program
The City has secured a federal grant in the amount of $399,846 to expand its mental health response program. The expansion will include the partner cities in the Chagrin Valley Dispatch network: Cleveland Heights, University Heights, South Euclid and Richmond Heights.
MetroHealth/Recovery Resources will hire two licensed mental health professionals and two peer supports, who, along with the current Shaker Heights social worker, will cover all five partner communities. In addition, a licensed mental health professional will be assigned to the joint dispatch center. The City is pursuing additional funds needed to fully implement this expansion.
The grant is from Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) of the U.S. Department of Justice. Out of 238 agencies that applied for this grant, only 47 were awarded funds. In announcing the grant, COPS Office Director Hugh T. Clements, Jr. wrote, “At the COPS Office, our mission is advancing community policing nationwide… The project you will implement with these award funds contributes to the mission of the COPS Office and the greater goal of reducing crime and building trust between law enforcement and communities served.”