Ohio legislation would require psychological testing for officers, disciplinary database

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WJW) – Ohio would create a disciplinary database for violent officers and require law enforcement to undergo psychological testing under a proposal introduced Thursday by House Republicans.

The legislation comes as the state grapples with the aftermath of civil unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

More details on the bill here

Sponsoring Reps. Phil Plummer and Cindy Abrams, who have both previously served in law enforcement roles, say the bill would standardize police training and disciplinary response throughout the state to “weed out the bad actors.” Republican lawmakers plan to take the bill on the road for a listening tour with local NAACP groups, faith leaders, police unions, and community members. 

Ohio Gov. DeWine encourages state certification for all police agencies, recruitment of minorities

“The goal of this legislation is to improve law enforcement and expand transparency,” said Plummer (R-Dayton), who served as Montgomery County sheriff for more than 10 years. “Changes are needed, the status quo isn’t good enough.”

Key provisions include:

  • Modernizing hiring practices to increase hiring of minority officers
  • Establishing a standard disciplinary process for all police departments
  • Terminating an officer when they are convicted of a violent crime
  • Creating a statewide disciplinary database for police officers noting officer suspensions that are the result of improper use of force or dishonesty
  • Examining issues related to excessive use of force
  • Ensure professional police practices

Abrams (R-Harrison),  is a former Cincinnati police officer.

“The vast majority of the men and women of law enforcement are professionals. They put their lives on the line every day to protect and to serve,” Abrams said. “This bill will help improve public safety and law enforcement.”

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