CCSO implements standards established to strengthen community, police relations

By Dana Dunn - For the CCSO

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office

Submitted photo

WILMINGTON – The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) recently adopted more stringent standards to improve and strengthen community and police relations, according to Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer, Jr.

Sheriff Fizer said the sheriff’s office exhaustive effort to meet these evolving standards was formally recognized this past fall when the CCSO was certified by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board (Ohio Collaborative) for meeting its first of its kind standards in the Buckeye State.

Sheriff Fizer said that the standards focus on several areas, including the appropriate use of force, agency recruitment and hiring, bias-based policing, vehicular pursuits and telecommunicator training.

“While we have always been a policy-driven agency, having standards that address these critical law enforcement functions is paramount to having and maintaining a professional organization,” Sheriff Fizer said. “Every law enforcement agency is different based on local demographics and these standards provide a common direction regardless of whether you are a rural or large city law enforcement organization.”

Ohio has been determinedly working to improve community-police relations and find solutions to the tensions and concerns between community members and the police that serve them, Sheriff Fizer concluded.

The Ohio Collaborative standards are intended to hold everyone accountable and instill a greater confidence with the public and are the result of a partnership between the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

More than 500 of Ohio’s 900 law enforcement agencies have been certified, meaning that more than 29,000 officers (representing more than 86 percent of all law enforcement officers in Ohio, including most of Ohio’s metropolitan areas) are employed by an agency that is involved in some form of the certification process.

In 2014, then Gov. John R. Kasich created the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations after a series of incidents in Ohio and around the nation highlighted the challenges with interactions between community members and police.

The task force included 24 members representing the governor, legislature, attorney general, Supreme Court of Ohio, law enforcement, organized labor, local community leaders, the faith-based community, business, municipalities and prosecuting attorneys.

In 2015, after a series of public forums around the state, the task force delivered its final report to the governor, who in turn established the new advisory board—a 12-person panel of law enforcement experts and community leaders from throughout the state.

For more information about this effort, contact Sheriff Fizer by email at [email protected] or phone at (937) 382-6611.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office Clinton County Sheriff’s Office Submitted photo

By Dana Dunn

For the CCSO