COLUMBUS – More than 500 agencies – employing about 80 percent of Ohio’s law enforcement officers – are in the process of implementing Ohio’s first-ever statewide minimum standards on use of force, including deadly force, and hiring and recruitment according to a report issued on March 31 by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS).
The standards were developed by a diverse group of Ohioans from law enforcement and community leaders as part of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich’s efforts to improve community and police relations.
“We are pleased so many law enforcement agencies have adopted Ohio’s first-ever statewide standards,” said Karhlton Moore, OCJS Executive Director. “While this report demonstrates the progress we have already made together, we recognize there is more work to do in strengthening the relationship between communities and law enforcement.”
The report showed that as of March 31, 506 agencies are either certified or in the process of becoming certified by meeting those standards that will help improve community-police relations. And, 79 percent of Ohio’s population, including all 88 Ohio counties, is served by an agency engaged in the certification process.
Since 2014, Ohio has been working to create a national model to strengthen the bond between communities and police, including building a database that law enforcement agencies can use to better track the use of force, study common, contributing factors, and formulate ways to prevent them. New grants have also been provided that require both law enforcement and the community to collaborate and participate in projects. Last year, Ohio launched a new “Change Starts Here” education and outreach campaign.
Ohio’s Community and Police Advisory Board Collaborative is co-chaired by John Born, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and former state Senator Nina Turner. The standards were established by the Ohio Collaborative on August 28, 2015, and the state partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s law enforcement agencies.
To view the Law Enforcement Certification Public Report, which also lists agencies not participating in the certificating process, please visit: http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov/ohiocollaborative/