SPD, park ranger receive safe policing certification

SIDNEY — The Sidney Police Department and Sidney Parks Department’s Park Ranger Justin Aselage recently received certifications for safe policing practices by law enforcement agencies.

This summer, the Department of Justice announced Standards for Certification for President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13929, Safe Policing for Safe Communities. The Executive Order’s goal is to ensure, said Police Chief Will Balling’s press release, that together, “we continue striving to provide transparent, safe, and accountable delivery ;6of services to our communities.”

“The Executive Order will enhance citizen confidence in law enforcement and facilitate the identification and correction of internal issues before they result in injury to the public or law enforcement officers,” said the release.

An independent credentialing body will certify an applying law enforcement agency if it determines — or, within the past 36 months, has already determined — that the agency complies with two mandatory safe policing principles in the Principles on Safe Policing and Use of Force. Certification is a prerequisite to a law enforcement agency’s eligibility for Department of Justice discretionary grant funding. Agencies will be required to obtain certification by Jan. 31, 2021, in order to be eligible for federal funds in 2021.

There are two main requirements in the executive order. The first is agencies’ use of force policies adheres to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. The second requirement is the agency maintains use of force policies must prohibit the use of choke holds, except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, safe policing principles will aid in law enforcements’ continued self-assessment of its policies and training on use of force and de-escalation techniques, performance management tools, and community engagement.

“I am pleased to announce that both the Sidney Police Department and the Sidney Parks Department (Park Ranger) have received their certification for this executive order from the Ohio Collaborative. We are proud of our law enforcement personnel for their courage, compassion, integrity, and professionalism,” Balling said.