We have seen too many tragedies in Ohio and around the country that have broken the trust between law enforcement and the communities they swear an oath to protect and serve. The arrival of an officer on the scene should be a cause for relief – not more anxiety.
That’s why I’ve joined my colleagues of both parties, including Ohio Representatives Tim Ryan and Anthony Gonzalez, to introduce the bipartisan Law Enforcement Scenario-Based Training for Safety and De-Escalation Act of 2022. It would improve law enforcement training for police departments – large and small, urban and rural – across Ohio and the country.
Most Ohio departments have 20 people or less, and don’t have the budgets and the personnel they need to offer the training that officers and community members need and deserve.
Our bill would direct the Department of Justice to create real-life trainings – accessible to all law enforcement agencies – on key issues like improving community-police relations, de-escalation, and crisis intervention.
These training will help address the concerns we hear so often from both law enforcement officers and members of the community. That’s why this legislation has the support of both the Fraternal Order of Police and the NAACP.
We know how painful this issue is, and how it has divided neighborhoods and divided families. We all want the same thing – to feel safe in our communities, and to be able to trust the people who are supposed to protect us.
This is an opportunity to bridge divides, to get out of partisan or ideological corners, make policing work better and make our towns and neighborhoods safer.
This is bipartisan and bicameral – we have Republicans and Democrats on this bill. We have law enforcement, and we have civil rights advocates.
This is the kind of real progress we need on one of the most sensitive issues facing our communities.
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) represents the state in the U.S. Senate.