COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called on the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) to adopt uniform pre-certification standards for all applicants to Ohio peace officer basic training academies. The request would implement several recommendations of the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training, which issued a report of findings and recommendations in April 2015.
“It is time for uniformity of qualifications for all peace officer basic training applicants in Ohio,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Major police departments in Ohio, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, have already adopted these pre-certification standards. It is important that these increased standards be used by all academies.”
The increased pre-certification standards DeWine requested be adopted include:
• Drug Screening: applicants pass a drug screening prior to admission into an academy.
• Psychological Exam: each applicant undergoes a psychological exam to confirm that applicants have the right psychological makeup to serve as a peace officer.
• Truth Verification Test: each applicant pass a truth verification test, such as a voice stress analysis (VSA) or polygraph.
• Physical Fitness: candidates pass a pre-entrance physical fitness assessment.
• Additional criminal disqualifiers in addition to the current felony disqualifications.
Prior to the Advisory Group’s report, the only pre-certification requirements were:
• Applicants must be over the age of eighteen and have a medical provider sign off that they are physically able to attend an academy.
• Applicants with felony convictions or offenses that create a state or federal weapons disability are not permitted to attend a basic training academy.
In addition to the five standards which could be adopted by OPOTC, the Ohio General Assembly is reviewing legislation which would codify Ohio Administrative Code requirements of a high school diploma or GED for peace officer basic training applicants. House Bill 204, sponsored by Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Township, and Rep. Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, passed the House on June 17, 2015 by a 96-2 vote. It is currently pending before the Senate Government and Reform Committee.
The next OPOTC meeting is scheduled to take place on Jan. 14, 2016, in London, Ohio.