COLUMBUS — Ohio Criminal Justice Services Executive Director Karhlton Moore announced this week the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office adopted and implemented state standards established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen community and police relations.
According to a press release submitted by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there are 457 agencies employing over 28,120 officers (representing over 87 percent of all law enforcement officers in Ohio, including most of Ohio’s metropolitan areas) that are certified, and 19 that are in the process of becoming certified by meeting standards for the use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring.
The standards are the first of their kind in Ohio and were developed and established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen community and police relations, the press release further stated.
When asked by the Tribune to explain how both his officers and the public, benefit from this certification, Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin stated, “The biggest benefit of this certification lies within the interactions between our officers and our citizens. Our community based policing model is grounded in our relationships, involvement and participation with our community members. The public benefits from this by having a law enforcement agency that is working with statewide experts on establishing standards in our profession.”
When it came to the training, time-frame and benchmarks the Gallia Sheriff’s Office had to reach to achieve this certification, Champlin stated, “The process for certification is lengthy and requires a law enforcement agency to provide training to its employees in critical areas such as Use of Force, diversity and new employee recruitment and hiring practices, just to name a few. The certification also requires that employees demonstrate proficiency (testing) in their knowledge of the components. The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office began this process several years ago.”
As to why Champlin personally felt this certification was imperative to achieve, he said, “The certification is important for our office because I feel it is vital in achieving our goals for a safer community. Our biggest asset at the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office is our employees and our number one priority is keeping the public safe. This certification shows that our agency is current with the best practices in community policing and that we are committed to improving the quality of life for our citizens.”
According to the press release from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the state has partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s nearly 900 law enforcement agencies on a process to ensure that they are in compliance with Ohio’s new standards. The complete list of agencies who have and have not been certified can be found at: http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov/ohiocollaborative/
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