COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Police in Ohio could use deadly force when officers are defending themselves or other people from serious injury or death, according to a draft of a new deadly force standard released Tuesday by the state’s first-ever police standards board.
The standard is consistent with national and international policies on force, said John Born, the state’s public safety director and chairman of the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.
Ohio law enforcement agencies would have to adopt the standard as a minimum department policy. Many current departments probably exceed that, and most will meet or exceed them by the end of next year, Born said.
“Some agencies may have a two-page procedure, some may have 30-page procedures,” he said. Born called the proposal an unprecedented step forward for Ohio.
Agencies also must have policies for disseminating the standard through a department, training officers in the standard and disciplining them when violations occur.
In March 2017, the board will begin publicizing which of Ohio’s 900-plus law enforcement agencies do and don’t have the standards. That will be the first time a statewide list of use-of-force standards will be available.
The board released the deadly force standard and a second on hiring and recruitment ahead of a Sept. 3 deadline.
Under the second proposed standard, police departments would set goals of creating diverse agencies that reflect the citizens they serve.
Some board members said the hiring standard should be adjusted. Ronnie Dunn, a Cleveland State urban affairs professor, said officers serve both residents of a city and people who travel or work there, which might reflect different groups.
Others said credit reports and minor criminal histories are sometimes used to exclude candidates, including women and minorities, who might be excellent police officers.
The governor created the board after a series of fatal police shootings, including the November death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
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