Judge rules Highway Patrol can train Cleveland police cadets

CLEVELAND (AP) – Cleveland can proceed with plans to have 50 police cadets receive the bulk of their training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy in Columbus, a judge ruled on Friday.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association sued in September to keep training in Cleveland after city officials signed an agreement with the state to have the Highway Patrol train the cadets.

The judge ruled Friday that the police union did not show that it would be harmed if the training occurred in Columbus, according to Cleveland.com.

The Highway Patrol has received a federal grant to pay for the cadets’ training, which will start Wednesday. The cadets will attend 21 weeks of training in Columbus and then return to Cleveland for an additional five to eight weeks of classes, a city spokesman said Friday.

Mayor Frank Jackson issued a statement praising the judge’s ruling.

The police union argued in its lawsuit that it would be a hardship for cadets to leave northeast Ohio for several months to be trained. The union also argued that Highway Patrol troopers patrol rural areas and highways and don’t have the experience policing urban areas that Cleveland police academy instructors have.

Recruiting and training officers are key components in an agreement between Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the city’s troubled police department. The Justice Department issued a report last December that said an investigation found that Cleveland police officers too often use excessive force and violate people’s civil rights.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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