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Ohio Governor’s Police Panel Calls For More Oversight

Police tape
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Several preliminary recommendations have been made to improve police and community relations.

A task force commissioned by Gov. John Kasich to study police and community relations in Ohio is starting to narrow down its list of possible recommendations, many of which suggest more statewide oversight of police and more efforts to hire minorities.

Some of the recommendations, which are preliminary and in most cases were suggested by more than one individual:

- Establish law enforcement training programs in predominantly minority high schools to attract more minority candidates (suggested by Akron police officer Brian Armstead, representing the Fraternal Order of Police).

- Strengthen community-oriented policing and be sure officers are familiar with the communities they serve (suggested by Tannisha Bell, representing the Ohio Attorney General’s Office).

- Conduct some police training scenarios in public places, such as churches, to boost communication between law enforcement and residents, particularly in minority communities (suggested by Phil Cole, executive director of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies).

- Create a state-level task force to investigate all officer-involved deaths (suggested by Ronnie Dunn, Cleveland State University professor and member of the NAACP criminal justice committee).

- Create five regional state-run police training academies (suggested by Bernie Moreno, president, the Collection Auto Group in Cuyahoga County).

- Create state or regional teams to investigate police-involved shootings to take the reviews out of local communities (suggested by Cincinnati city councilwoman Amy Murray).

- Create a database within the office of the Ohio Attorney General of all officers who were fired or resigned before being fired (suggested by Oregon police chief Michael Navarre).

- Report all police-involved shootings to the Ohio Attorney General for an annual report (suggested by Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien).

- Increase training for officers for dealing with mentally ill individuals and create special units for dealing with “mental health crisis situations” (suggested by state Sen. Sandra Williams).