Today, State Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) invited a delegation of Cuyahoga County leaders and House members to a series of Zoom meetings to discuss the issue of criminal justice reform. Those from the Ohio House that attended were the leaders of the Professional Police Practices Task Force and sponsors of House Bill 703, State Representatives Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) – additionally, State Representatives Adam Holmes (R-Nashport) and Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) joined the meetings.

The legislation seeks to improve law enforcement training, expand officer diversity and implement better disciplinary procedures.

“These meetings are all about having these elaborate conversations and finding solutions when it comes to addressing civil justice and criminal justice reform across our state,” said Greenspan. “Today, these series of Zoom calls aimed to bring a rich, culturally diverse group of leaders from Cuyahoga County to the forefront of these important discussions as we move forward with the legislative process.”

Community leaders invited to speak to the representatives and whom attended included:

  • Jeff Follmer, Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association;

  • Pierre Bejjani, Cleveland American Middle Eastern Organization;

  • Veronica Dahlberg, Founder and Executive Director of HOLA Ohio; and

  • Rev. CJ Matthews, Mount Sinai Ministries.

These community leaders significantly attributed to the meetings as they brought their thoughts and concerns pertaining to the issues of police brutality and House Bill 703. The legislation includes these key provisions:

  • Modernizing hiring practices to increase hiring of minority officers;

  • Establishing a standard disciplinary process for all police departments;

  • Terminating an officer when they are convicted of a violent crime;

  • Creating a statewide disciplinary database for police officers noting officer suspensions that are the result of improper use of force or dishonesty;

  • Examining issues related to excessive use of force; and

  • Ensure professional police practices.

“I thank them for their feedback today, and stated that this is surely not the end of our discussions,” said Greenspan. “As we continue to craft the legislation, it’s crucial we all come together to be inclusionary as we want this bill to be reflective of the diverse opinions we have throughout the Northeast and all across Ohio.”

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