Interested in serving?
Applications accepted on a continuous basis. The GCRTA Board of Trustees select and appoint seven (7) COC members that represent the diversity of GCRTA’s customer base, and who will serve objectively and without bias. Click here to review the requirements for service and apply to serve on the COC.
Check back for updates about the COC.
Inaugural Civilian Oversight Committee Members Appointed
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees appointed the first seven members to the inaugural Civilian Oversight Committee at its Tuesday, September 26, 2023, meeting pictured above from left to right:
George Taylor (OPOTA trained, retired police officer): George is a retired uniformed police officer who served the Toledo Police Department for more than 30 years. After retiring from service as a police officer, George continued to serve the community in various roles such as the Director of Public Safety and Justice Services for Cuyahoga County and the Chief Deputy of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.
Timothy Clary: Timothy has experience working as an attorney in a private firm handling litigation as well as serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County. Presently, Timothy is working as an assistant public defender in the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office.
David Morris: David has 20+ years of HR experience, with job duties and responsibilities including handling investigations of employee misconduct and citizen complaints. David presently works as the Human Resources Manager for the City of Bedford Heights.
Elise Auvil: Elise has served as an assistant public defender in both Philadelphia and Cleveland and served as an associate counsel for GCRTA from 1997 to 2003. Elise was also the former Chief of Staff for Mayor Justin Bibb. Elise is currently the Human Resources Consultant for EHA Solutions, Ltd. and has held that role for 8 years.
Jakolya Gordon: Jakolya has been a member of various community organizations including the Cuyahoga County Child Fatality Review Board, Alliance for HOPE International, and the Alcohol, Drug, Addiction, & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. Jakolya currently works as a program specialist for the Cuyahoga County Public Safety & Justice Services and has held that role for 13 years.
Rebecca Wharton: Rebecca presently works as the HR manager for Malachite Innovations, L.L.C. and has responsibility and oversight of over 60 company clients. Rebecca has a history working in a multitude of HR-related positions including the management of all aspects of HR duties and responsibilities. Rebecca also worked as a constituent liaison for the State of Ohio’s Department of Public Safety.
Steven Sims: Steven has engaged in public service throughout Cuyahoga County and Cleveland in various roles, including at GCRTA as the Director of the Office of Business Development. Steven currently serves as the President/CEO of the Greater Cleveland Community Credit Union, a financial institution focused on serving the unbanked and underserved communities of Cuyahoga County.
In its efforts to provide greater transparency and community input within the modern policing environment, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) is seeking interested applicants to serve on its Civilian Oversight Committee (COC). This is a voluntary and proactive effort that seeks to give voice to the community and enhance accountability through an independent review and investigation of public complaints of alleged misconduct regarding its Transit Police Department (TP).
Meaningful and Beneficial
Oversight of law enforcement has grown significantly in the last few years; this is challenging and essential work. GCRTA is committed to civilian oversight and working with stakeholders to develop a structure that works best for the people of Cuyahoga County. The COC is an independent civilian group consisting of private citizens.
COC members are strong, effective community change agents that provide meaningful oversight that is:
- An investment in our community
- An iterative process
The purpose of the COC is to review public* complaints filed against GCRTA TP employees. The COC shall have the power to receive, investigate, and make recommendations for the resolution of complaints by members of the public for the following types of allegations:
- Harassment alleging bias, discrimination, and/or profiling
- Excessive force
- Illegal search and seizure of a person or vehicle
- Insufficient or lack of service
- Missing or damaged property
*Internal GCRTA employee complaints against TP employees and those determined to be Human Resources in nature shall not be heard by the COC and will be resolved by the GCRTA’s/TP’s internal complaint resolution process. The TP Chief of Police or their designee will be responsible for determining which complaints shall be reviewed by the COC and which shall be resolved by the GCRTA’s/TP’s internal complaint resolution processes.
This project follows the recently launched Transit Ambassador program, and continues to demonstrate GCRTA’s commitment to the community, to build trust through transparency and providing creative support and solutions in its efforts to improve relationships and connect the community.
All meetings of the COC, except executive sessions held for purposes required or permitted by law, shall be open to the public, and no person shall be excluded from any meeting except for conduct which unreasonably interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting.