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Police Training Changes Won't Affect Many Local Departments

Beavercreek police are among those that have been involved with deadly force in recent years.  john crawford
Lewis Wallace
Beavercreek police are among those that have used deadly force in recent years.

The Ohio Senate wants to boost mandated training hours for police officers. The proposed changes come from Attorney General Mike DeWine’s task force formed after several high-profile police shootings last year. Lawmakers have earmarked $15 million in local government funds in the new state budget to cover costs—but many local departments won’t actually be affected.

Lawmakers want to increase the required hours for training academies, currently set at 605. And they would raise continued education requirements from four hours to 40.

But Capt. Eric Grile with the Beavercreek Police says that won’t make a difference in departments like his that already do a lot of continuing education.

“Our officers averaged 60 hours last year,” he said.

And Grile points out there hasn’t been much emphasis on the type of required training. It’s the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academythat will hash out those details.

“There’s a big difference between what someone gets on an online course, or on an in-person lecture course, or at the highest level: in a role-playing, scenario-based-reality training,” Executive Director Mary Davis said.

And she says new requirements won’t take effect right away—they will be phased in over the next few years.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Governor Kasich had yet to sign the new state budget into law.

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