Cleveland Police Dept: Stuck in the Past?

When patrol officers in the Cleveland Police Department arrive at the scene of a crime, they take notes and ask questions just like any other law enforcement officer in America.

But when they drive back to their precinct, Cleveland police officers write out handwritten notes and fax them to central headquarters where a room full of secretaries type up the reports.

But that's not the only anachronism. Most detectives in the Cleveland's Sex Crimes Unit do not have cell phones. Or email.

The result: sources say thirty percent of the rape cases are never prosecuted because the detectives have difficulty tracking down the victims or they are deemed to be "uncooperative."

"Of course you are going to lose people along the way if you can't get in touch with detectives," says Megan O'Bryan who runs the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

O'Bryan is one of the reasons change is coming to the department. She served on a three member commission that examined the city's policies on sex crimes and missing persons in the wake of the discovery of eleven dead women in the home of accused serial killer Anthony Sowell. 

Recommendations in the report adopted by the mayor's office will require new electronic case files, email accounts and cell phones for detectives.

A March 4 CBS News investigation uncovered exclusive details revealing critical mistakes made by police and prosecutors who worked the Sowell case.

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