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

Jun 19, 2020

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.