Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today held a press conference with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) to discuss upcoming legislation that relates to recommendations made by the Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training.
The bill, sponsored by State Representatives Tim Derickson (R-Hanover Township) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), would lift the cap on the number of hours of basic training required for peace officers and other positions. The bill also requires all newly appointed peace officers to receive a high school diploma or GED.
“I am pleased that Speaker Rosenberger and Representatives Derickson and Manning have introduced this bill that will increase the educational requirements of prospective peace officers in Ohio and also eliminate the cap that currently limits the number of training hours to become a peace officer,” said Attorney General DeWine. “These are two recommendations that were made by the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training. I look forward to working with the House to pass this bill.”
The legislation comes after recommendations made in the Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training report, which was released last month. The advisory group was appointed in December 2014 to examine how law enforcement officers are trained in Ohio and to make suggestions for improvement.
“The recommendations made by the Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training have provided us with the knowledge and tools we need to take a first step in improving the training process for law enforcement individuals,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “I’d like to thank Attorney General DeWine for his work on this issue and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the House and Senate to continue this process. Together, we can strengthen our communities one step at a time.”
“I appreciate the proactive leadership the Attorney General and his advisory group have provided on this issue,” Senate President Faber said. “We all share the same goal, and that’s to make sure Ohio’s law enforcement officers have exceptional training, not just adequate training, for the protection of both our communities and those who serve. I look forward to working with my partners in the legislature to achieve this.”
Currently, the hourly cap for basic training is set at 650 hours. With this legislation, the Attorney General could raise the number of hours required for peace officer training.
“Peace officer training represents the building blocks of their professional careers,” said Rep. Derickson. “This legislation removes the cap for the maximum number of hours of training, and ensures that these officers can be comfortable in the field and better prepared for situations they may encounter in the course of their duty.”
Ohio is one of three states that does not require some level of high school diploma or GED equivalent to serve as a peace officer. This bill would make that a requirement.
“This legislation will make Ohio a safer state,” Rep. Manning said. “Currently, Ohio is one of three states in the country to not require a high school diploma or GED equivalent. As a city prosecutor in North Ridgeville, I saw how having this requirement made our community one of the safest in America. The goal of this legislation will be to have that same level of protection for all Ohioans.”
The legislation is planned for official introduction today.