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Ohio Universities Partnering With Law Enforcement To Increase Police Recruitment

Gov. Mike DeWine announces new state program to increase police recruitment at the Ohio Department of Public Safety..
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Gov. Mike DeWine announces new state program to increase police recruitment at the Ohio Department of Public Safety..

With major city police departments struggling with large numbers of retirements and departures, Ohio is launching a program to help encourage more young people to become law enforcement officers.

Central State University and Cedarville University are teaming up with police departments and sheriff's offices for the College To Law Enforcement Pathway program. 

A dozen agencies including the Ohio Highway Patrol, Franklin County sheriff’s office and Dublin Police department are participating in the pilot program

Patrick Oliver, director of Cedarville University's criminal justice program, said the College To Law Enforcement Pathway will pair students with experienced officers to learn leadership skills.

Oliver said this can increase the number of women and people of color who join the police force. 

"Because we're going to recruit them, select them, train them, develop them, and then have a pool of highly qualified candidates that include both minorities and women," Oliver said.

A college degree is not always a requirement for becoming a police officer. For instance, Columbus Police recruits only need a high school diploma or G.E.D. But Oliver said there are numerous reasons to emphasize recruiting from college ranks. He says research indicates grads tend to do better in performance evaluations and promotion over the course of their career, and focusing graduates doesn’t negatively impact minority recruitment.

Since students majoring in criminal justice might already be on the career path to become a peace officer, Oliver likened College To Law Enforcement Pathway to an honors program where a student is guaranteed a job after completing the course.

The state-run program is intended to strengthen training among prospective new officers. Students will take part in workshops that cover a variety of topics including the prevention of bias-based policing.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.
Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.