Back in October, it was announced that a Los Angeles-based consulting firm–Police Assessment Resource Center –would track Cleveland’s progress under a settlement with the U.S. Justice Dept., to “curb the use of excessive force” by city police officers.
According to invoices obtained by local media outlets — in the initial month, the team spent “a lot of time getting a handle on where the police department currently stands on a ‘host of issues implicated by the consent decree.'”
There are 15 members on the team that was hired to monitor Cleveland’s federal consent decree on police use of force. The members make $250 /hour and in their first month of work – in October- they billed the city more than $100,000. Their work in the first month included ride-alongs with police and interviews with the command staff.
Among those on the team are a former Madison, WI chief of police, an executive director of the Crime and Justice Institute and the director of a community re-entry program for at-risk youth. That member, Charles See, submitted the most billable hours, according to Cleveland.com.
“See billed just under $15,000 for 59.3 hours and donated another 12 hours of his time,” according to the invoices.
During a city council hearing on Wednesday, the team’s expenses took front and center. There was also discussion at the hearing, about the team’s work and goals for the coming year. One councilman further questioned See about the hours he submitted. See reportedly billed the city for time he spent at “5 or 6” protests — related to a grand jury’s decision not to indict two officers for the shooting death of Tamir Rice.
Cleveland consent decree monitor Matthew Barge, pointed out that about 42 % of the hours that team members spent on consent decree-related duties, in the month of October, were on a pro-bono basis.
Barge also emphasized that the city’s contract with PARC over the next five years, caps the total cost at $4.95 million. He added that while expenses may be higher in the first year or two, they should level off by the third — as the team will be spending less “on-the-ground time forging new relationships within the community.”