Because of the many incidents around the country, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently called for all police departments, approximately 800 in all, to become certified by the Ohio Police Collaborative. I am happy to report the Sylvania Police Division has been working on this certification process for over a year, and has now received Provisional Agency Certification.
The Certification is for Group 1 (Use of Force, Recruitment and Hiring/Standard). Certification was also received for Group 2 (Community Engagement, Telecommunication Training) and for Group 3 (Bias Free Policing, Investigation of Employee Misconduct) standards.
Since last fall, the Sylvania Police Division has been working with Lexipol, a policy and procedure service representing over 400 law enforcement agencies in Ohio to update all police division policies implementing best practices and making information readily available through technology.
Specific procedures being reviewed and updated based on current national events include barring choke holds, de-escalating situations, requiring verbal warnings, use of force, shooting at moving vehicles, and duty to intercede. These updated procedures and policies will be presented to the Safety Committee of Sylvania City Council for their review.
Congratulations to Chief Rick Schnoor and the Sylvania Police Division for attaining these certifications. Further, the Ohio Collaborative featured the Sylvania Police Division in their June, 2020 monthly newsletter as shown below.
The City of Sylvania has a long history of community policing and community programming, including our Safety City program for kindergarten children and our D.A.R.E. education for fifth graders. We also have police officers at Northview and Southview High Schools serving as school resource officers. All these programs introduce our young people to police officers and the important role they play in community safety.
Included in the City of Sylvania 2020 Budget is $100,000 of funding to replace the 10 year old in-car camera system with a new system that includes body cameras for all on-duty uniform personnel. The final purchase contract will be brought to City Council at the July 20th meeting for their approval.
City Council recently approved legislation creating a cadet position in the police division. This new position enables the department to recruit candidates for the position of police officer without requiring prior police academy training. We hope to attract more applicants of diverse backgrounds and qualifications with this new classification.
Finally, some communities are just now considering enhancing their mental health responses, utilizing more than just armed police officers. The Sylvania Police Division has been working in partnership with the Sylvania Township Fire Department for over five years handling mental health crisis calls as a medical emergency. Officers in the field work on-scene with fire rescue personnel to de-escalate combative individuals who are in crisis, and many times the patient is transported by EMS rather than a police vehicle.
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