Three Police Officers

Bibb Administration’s RISE Investments Land New Police Academy Class That Exceeds Historical Average and is Larger Than Previous Four Classes Combined

Monday, Mar 25, 2024

10 of 52 Recruits Starting Academy Today are Over 40 Years Old – A Direct Result of One of Many Efforts Implemented under RISE Initiative

Monday, March 25, 2024 — Cleveland — Mayor Justin M. Bibb, Interim Public Safety Director Wayne Drummond, and Police Chief Dorothy Todd announced that the 155th Cleveland Division of Police Academy began training this morning.  The current academy has 52 recruits, which is more than seven times the size of the most recent class and is larger than the prior four academy classes combined.  The current class size also exceeds the historical averages of recruits hired (~ 45) and recruits graduated (~ 42) dating back to the 1st Police Academy in 1937.  Of the 52 recruits, 10 are between 40 to 54 years old – all of whom would’ve previously been ineligible had it not been for the Administration’s legislative change to increase the maximum age to become an officer.

“Last July I doubled down on my commitment to public safety by launching RISE – an initiative to raise investments in safety for our residents, officers, and the entire community,” said Mayor Bibb.  “Initiatives only matter to the extent they generate tangible successes.  Clevelanders deserve results and this large academy class is a direct product of my Administration’s cumulative efforts over the last several months.  I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far, but there is a lot more work to be done.  We will continue working day and night to keep our city safe.”

The academy is full-time Monday through Friday and lasts approximately 7 ½ months, which is due to hours required by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and additional training on local policies and procedures mandated as part of the consent decree.  Recruits will complete basic training and a host of other courses focused on learning an array of protocols, techniques, and information on various topics – including first aid administration, traffic control, patrol, search and seizure, crisis response, crime scene processing and evidence collection, interviewing witnesses, assisting victims, legal requirements, and community engagement.  All courses are designed to ensure that, upon completion, officers will have the knowledge needed to constitutionally police the community.

“Members of the Cleveland Division of Police all have a genuine desire to serve and protect our citizens and communities.  We are very thankful for our active officers and for the 52 recruits that answered that call to service and joined the 155th Academy class today,” said Interim Safety Director Drummond.  “They have all made the selfless decision to join a noble profession and I am confident that each new recruit will make valuable contributions to the City of Cleveland for many years to come.  The Department of Public Safety is committed to the recruitment and retention of qualified officers and an ongoing investment in our Division of Police.”

Although police departments across the nation are experiencing staffing shortages, the City of Cleveland’s 155th Academy class (52) is currently larger than the most recent class sizes in New Orleans (22), Indianapolis (35), and Milwaukee (41).  Recruits are expected to graduate and start basic patrol in November.  The Administration intends to commence another academy class later this year.

“We're excited to welcome the Cleveland Division of Police 155th Academy class, showcasing our unwavering dedication to enhancing public safety through robust recruitment endeavors.  I am grateful for the support of Mayor Bibb, his administration, Interim Safety Director Drummond, and the hard work of our members,” said Chief Todd.  “The Mayor’s RISE Initiative and the recent adjustment to the maximum age for recruits have enabled us to welcome a more diverse group of recruits.  This class's enrollment numbers signal a promising resurgence in interest in the career of Law Enforcement and a commitment to driving positive change in our city.”

The 155th Academy class is the latest product of Mayor Bibb’s RISE Initiative – the most comprehensive violence reduction and law enforcement enhancement plan the City of Cleveland has ever seen.  RISE is a portfolio of multiple key investments, partnerships and enforcement strategies, technological advancements, and other Administration-led efforts announced last summer to combat high levels of crime and to improve recruitment and retention within the Division.

Since then, the Bibb Administration hosted the City’s first-ever Public Safety Summit announcing a 50% pay increase, $5,000 sign-on bonuses, fast-tracked promotions, and other marked improvements for recruits; increased pay up to 25% for current officers, including a substantial increase in October that made the Division’s top patrol officers the highest paid among the largest cities in the state; raised the maximum age to become a police officer; and hosted an expedited hiring event to streamline the application process.

Other recent RISE efforts led by the Bibb Administration include expanding the City’s SAFE SMART CLE camera sharing program; expanding ShotSpotter technology to all five neighborhood police districts; and expanded partnerships with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the U.S. Marshals Service, and other agencies at all levels for additional resources and personnel towards targeted hotspots and coordinated violence reduction tactics.  In early summer, the Administration will launch a new Crime Gun Intelligence center in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

These strategic efforts have produced significant, tangible results including hundreds of arrests, hundreds of gun seizures, dangerous drugs removed from the streets, numerous stolen vehicle recoveries, and several lives saved.  The number of cameras integrated through the SAFE SMART CLE program has increased by more than 400, and the number of cameras registered has gone up by more than 950 – an approximate 1,300% increase since the program expanded in July.  The Administration continues to urge residents, businesses, and community partners to sign up.

Those interested in becoming a police officer with the Cleveland Division of Police should contact the Department of Public Safety Recruitment Team at (216)-623-5233.