Working To Improve Community-Police Relations


Governor DeWine has announced the first of several efforts to improve community-police relations in Ohio. 

"These new efforts are just the start of our work to improve law enforcement accountability, transparency, training, and minority recruitment," said Governor DeWine.  "We are working with the law enforcement community, elected officials, and community organizations as we continue to move forward."

Mass Protest Law Enforcement Standard

Governor DeWine directed Ohio's Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests.

"When protests morph from peaceful to violent, law enforcement must be empowered to act, but our peaceful demonstrators must also feel safe when asserting their First Amendment rights," said Governor DeWine. "A statewide standard for law enforcement will be beneficial to help standardize Ohio's response to large, ongoing protests in the future." 

Members of the collaborative will examine issues surrounding best practices for interaction between law enforcement and crowds that fail to disperse, when tactics involving tear gas, pepper spray, and non-lethal projectiles are necessary and when these tactics should be considered excessive, and how to better protect members of the media from injury.

Ohio’s Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board was formed in 2015 to create uniform minimum standards for Ohio’s law enforcement agencies covering use of force, including deadly force, and hiring and recruitment.

As of today, 79-percent of all of Ohio’s law enforcement officers work for an agency that has voluntarily complied with these standards or is in the process of certification. These agencies serve 75-percent of Ohio’s total population. However, the total number of certified agencies only accounts for slightly over half of all of Ohio’s departments.

"More than 400 agencies in the state have not chosen to pursue certification showing that they meet these minimum standards," said Governor DeWine. "Regardless of why these agencies are not certified, I'm calling on them to begin working on this process."

Governor DeWine directed the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services, which oversees the certification process, to reach out to every agency that is not certified in these standards and assist them in moving toward certification.

Collaborative standards also exist for community engagement, body cameras, bias-free policing, employee misconduct, telecommunicators, and law enforcement pursuits. 

The 2020 Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board report, which lists the certification status of all law enforcement agencies in the state, is available at publicsafety.ohio.gov. 

Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment

Governor DeWine also announced that he will create a new Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment within Ohio's Office of Criminal Justice Services.

"Ohio must also do more to encourage minorities and women to join the ranks of Ohio’s law enforcement officers - especially in our urban communities," said Governor DeWine. "The need for more minorities and females in the law enforcement profession isn’t a new concept and many agencies are already doing a phenomenal job, but this new office will help local agencies with recruitment and retention."