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Grant To Help Local College, Law Enforcement Conduct Research Project

Mike Foley
Jonathan McCombs, Criminal Justice Administration Program Chair at Franklin University
Credit franklin.edu

A Local Government Innovation grant is helping foster a collaboration between Franklin University and seven central Ohio law enforcement agencies. Mike Foley has details.

The $50,000 grant will help study and assess the feasibility of using a common learning management system for the development, delivery, tracking and reporting of law enforcement agency training. Given the state mandate for additional training hours for law enforcement agencies this year and next, the collaboration seeks to minimize the cost of that training but maintain the quality.  Jonathan McCombs serves as the Criminal Justice Administration Program Chair at Franklin University.

“Law enforcement officers spend their careers training and retraining to be proficient in the many things they are called to do on a daily basis. This project is about wrapping a cutting edge learning management system around face to face and online training to both promote and evaluate learning. It is also about how to construct a shared training platform for officers to learn together across agencies. We hope to show that we can create efficiencies in the classroom, savings on travel and overtime. But more than that, we hope to show through robust analytics that we can articulate learning in accordance with many if not all the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training and the governor’s Ohio Task Force on Community and Police Relations.”

McCombs says this won’t replace existing law enforcement training but rather test ways to leverage shared training, higher education and technology. Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer agrees.

“For example, when we look at in-service training and developing an in-service training platform that has college credits, we go through in-service training every year. Those training sessions have never applied towards college credits and they will in the future. So it’ll be much easier for officers to obtain degrees through Columbus State and the partnership with Franklin. The core concept in general where we have shared services, when we look at the redundancy in public safety for things like trainers and assets, those are things we should be sharing. Whether it’s the trainers or the equipment, we should be sharing that more on a regional basis and the concept will help with that.”

In addition to the Westerville Police Department, the Franklin University collaboration includes the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio Law Enforcement Foundation and the police departments of Powell, Reynoldsburg, Worthington and Columbus State Community College, which will serve as the lead law enforcement agency.  

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