TWINSBURG -- The Twinsburg Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff's Office are two of several area departments to be certified by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board for meeting state state standards on use of force and other criteria.
Twinsburg Police Chief Chris Noga said that the original collaborative board first met in 2015 to establish voluntary, uniform standards for the state's nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies.
"There has never been a type of uniform standards in the state of Ohio," Noga said. "There are departments like us, who keep up to date as technology and standards change, but there may be departments who don't have set standards ... such as with armed force."
Noga said adoption of the standards is voluntary for Ohio police departments.
"We exceeded two standards they outlined in 2016, so there was no reason not to participate in this," Noga said.
The TPD has been helped in its continuing education in policing by California-based Lexipol, which Noga called "a leader in law enforcement and risk management."
The new state standards set by the collaborative are "not a one-time thing, but an ongoing policy and process over five years," Noga said.
For example, in 2017, there will be standards set for body cameras.
"It's all really good stuff," Noga said. "It's not only better for our department, it's good for our profession across the board."
The state has partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio's nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies on a process to ensure that they are in compliance with Ohio's new standards.
More than 400 agencies employing more than 23,000 officers (or 70 percent of all law enforcement officers in Ohio, including agencies and officers in most of Ohio's metropolitan areas) are either certified or in the process of becoming certified by meeting standards for the use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring, according to information provided by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.