COLUMBUS, Ohio – David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, today announced that state, local and college police departments in Ohio must meet new safe policing standards regarding use of force, performance management and community engagement if they intend to apply for discretionary grants from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The new standards are a result of President Trump’s June Executive Order 13929, Safe Policing for Safe Communities.
The Executive Order requires that law enforcement agencies be certified by independent credentialing agencies. The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) and the Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Certification Program has been selected as the independent credentialing agency for Ohio.
“Following these standards will make sure that law enforcement agencies in the Southern District of Ohio are using safe practices and have policies in place to ensure transparent, safe and accountable services to our communities,” DeVillers said. “We are working with OCJS and reaching out to law enforcement agencies throughout the District to make them aware of the new standards and the certification process.”
The President’s Order requires agencies to meet two standards in order to be successfully credentialed: 1) that the agency’s use of force policies prohibit chokeholds, except in situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law; and 2) that the agency’s use of force policies adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
The Department’s certification standards encourage an independent assessment of law enforcement policies and procedures, such as: 1) training protocols on use of force; 2) training protocols on de-escalation; 3) the scope of an officer’s duty and obligation to intervene in order to prevent excessive force by another officer; 4) when and how an officer should provide appropriate medical care; 5) officers identifying themselves as law enforcement and giving verbal warning of their intent to use deadly force; and 6) shooting at or from a moving vehicle. Additionally, law enforcement agencies are encouraged to implement early intervention systems to promote officer wellness and to identify officers who may be at risk of violating use of force policies, policies and procedures to help them recruit and promote the best and brightest, and community engagement plans to address each community’s specific needs.
By January 31, 2021, agencies must have received certification or be in the process of getting certified if they plan to apply for discretionary grants, sometimes known as competitive grants, during this fiscal year.