In addition to its role in overseeing advanced peace officer training, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) sets the curricula for basic peace officer training as well as that of parole, probation, and corrections officers; jailers; bailiffs; private security officers; and humane agents.
In a major undertaking that hasn’t been tackled in 45 years, the OPOTC staff, with input from law enforcement from across the state, is conducting the first comprehensive review and revision of the state’s basic peace officer training curriculum. Since its implementation in 1966, Ohio’s standard approach to training new peace officers has grown from 120 hours originally to 582 hours today.
While OPOTC added topics and incorporated changes through the years, until now it has not conducted an in-depth evaluation and update of the curriculum. The curriculum is taught in about 65 academies that law enforcement agencies, higher education institutions, and adult education/vocational schools operate around the state.
OPOTC staff is working with subject matter experts, conducting research, and incorporating instructional techniques to update the curriculum’s 109 lesson plans.
The 32 revised so far were released this spring for implementation in academies statewide July 1. Those lesson plans received priority attention because they focus on tasks affecting officer safety or liability issues.
“The commission has made important additions and changes to the curriculum through the years, but this type of thorough review is long overdue,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Research has led to huge advancements in law enforcement practices, and we want Ohio’s method of training new peace officers to reflect them. Put simply, public safety and officers’ lives depend on it.”