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Ohio Police Task Force Issues Recommendations

Ohio Public Radio

An Ohio police relations task force is recommending the state boost the minimum number of required training hours for officers and use stricter screening for applicants.  Attorney General Mike DeWine's  group also recommends the state reduce the number of training academies to help manage training more effectively. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

DeWine says there are few requirements for people who want to enroll in police officer training academics throughout the state.  
“High school diploma or GED? Not required. Drug screening? Not required. Psychological exam? Not required. Voice stress polygraph? Not required. Physical fitness standard? Not required before someone enters the academy,” said DeWine.
DeWine says the task force recommendations include requiring those tests or achievements to enter basic training. And once police officers are on the job, this group wants them to get an additional 40 hours of advanced training each year. Ohio Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Mike Weinman likes this, but says with the elimination of the estate tax and cuts to local government funds, local communities can’t afford it.
“One of the first things that agencies have to cut is training. You know, that’s the first thing that goes. So it would be great to have some sort of funding mechanism there,” said Weinman.
There is no cost estimate for the additional training at this point and a way to pay for it has not been determined.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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