COLUMBUS: A first-ever Ohio police standards board will lay out rules that law enforcement agencies must follow governing the proper use of deadly force, Gov. John Kasich announced Wednesday in a move sparked by a series of fatal police shootings in the past year, including the November death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
The 12-member Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board will create standards for hiring, recruiting, and local community interaction — such as such as addressing safety issues and educating people on the daily challenges faced by officers — Kasich said.
But the board’s first job “will be to immediately begin creating standards governing the use of deadly force and hiring and recruiting to ensure high-quality, diverse and professional law enforcement personnel,” Kaisch’s announcement said.
Other standards deal with effective lines of communication between police and citizens and strategies for how both police and the communities they serve can hold each other accountable for their actions, Kasich said.
The board composed of police and community members will issue an annual report on its work and whether local police agencies are following the standards.
The announcement came as Kasich accepted recommendations from a police and community relations panel he created following protests over a series of police-involved shootings in Ohio and nationally.
Those include the Nov. 22 death of Rice, fatally shot by police while holding a pellet gun outside a Cleveland recreation center; the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Missouri; and the Aug. 5 shooting of John Crawford III, 22, killed by a police officer while holding an air rifle in a Wal-Mart store in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek.
Rice, Crawford and Brown all were black; the officers who shot them were white.
The task force emphasized accountability, trust, training and education. The panel’s broad categories of possible changes to police departments include mandatory use of force standards and minimum statewide hiring policies.
A related task force created by state Attorney General Mike DeWine has recommended substantially more basic and advanced police training and streamlining the number of training academies.
Among other recommendations the governor’s panel has focused on is enhancing an understanding of police policies and procedures, and reviewing the state grand jury process when it comes to police use of force situations.