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Ohio FOP Ok With Some Reforms, But Says One Idea Is A "Non-Starter"

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Karen Kasler
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Protestors marched from the Statehouse to Columbus Police Headquarters on May 31.

The state’s police union says it’s cautiously on board with police reform proposals on the  local, state and federal levels. But it's leader says one proposal is a non-starter. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Ohio Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Jason Pappas says though horror stories of bad officers are making headlines, more cops are dismissed for misconduct than people might think.

“The public doesn’t see how many officers are actually terminated from employment. All they see are the controversial ones.”

Pappas says law enforcement can accept concepts such as more training, body cameras with what he calls reasonable policies, oversight boards with fair processes and databases to keep officers with bad records from getting rehired.

“As far as what has been presented to us, there is very little that is going to cause us great concern.”

But Pappas says an idea discussed at the federal level to drop qualified immunity and allow cops to be subject to lawsuits is a non-starter.

“Qualified immunity’s a very important tool for law enforcement, and if you remove those safeguards, it could have a major negative impact not just on today’s law enforcement, but the recruiting and retention of qualified people across this country.”

You can hear more in an extended conversation with Jason Pappas on "The State of Ohio" this weekend.  

The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.
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