Attorney General Dave Yost’s Police Resources
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Attorney General Dave Yost’s Police Resources

Attorney General Dave Yost firmly believes that law enforcement officers are essential to a secure and functioning society. Dedicated officers protect our communities as well as our individual ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness free from fear and intimidation.

“The true face of law enforcement is men and women going out and trying to make their communities safe,” Yost says. “They show valor every time they put a badge on their chest, which can turn into a target on their backs.”

Too often nowadays, though, the face of law enforcement is represented by viral videos of officers hurting people. These officers do not represent the majority — the many hard-working, goodhearted people who got into policing to safeguard neighbors and fix problems, not create them.

The following information is offered in support of and as a service to law enforcement officers throughout Ohio.

A ‘force multiplier’ for local law enforcement agencies

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office (AGO) provides high-tech resources and collaborative problem-solving that can greatly augment the crime-fighting abilities of Ohio’s 900 local law enforcement agencies statewide — which is why Attorney General Dave Yost likes to refer to his office as a “force multipler.”

All of the resources — from equipment and services to specialized expertise and more — are free. The key for the Attorney General’s Office is making sure that local agencies are aware of the array of assistance available.

This factsheet provides a rundown of how we can help.

Officer-Involved Critical Incident (OICI) investigations

To build trust in law enforcement, Attorney General Yost believes the public must be able to have faith that officer-involved shootings will be fairly investigated. Such credibility can be gained through OICI investigations that are thorough and fair, independent and transparent.

Best Practices for Investigating an Officer-Involved Critical Incident

“Officer-involved critical incidents are just that: critical. The life-or-death ramifications impact not only those involved and their families but also the agencies involved and the community.”

BCI Special Agent Supervisor Mark Kollar, author of Best Practices for Investigating an Officer-Involved Critical Incident

The Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has developed protocols for investigating officer-involved shootings. “Best Practices for Investigating an Officer-Involved Critical Incident,” published by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2021, explains the important steps that lead to fair and thorough investigations.

Independent investigations

Independence is a bedrock principle of fair investigations. When law enforcement agencies investigate their own — no matter how competent the investigation — the setup creates the appearance of an unfair process and jeopardizes community trust in the outcome. The Attorney General’s Office offers two expert teams to help instill confidence from all sides: investigators and prosecutors trusted for their high-quality work and independent decision-making.

Transparent investigations

Attorney General Yost is committed to providing transparency in all officer-involved critical investigations in which his office is involved. The point at which information is released, though, must be balanced with the need for a fair investigation and judicial process. Timing is critical.

To read released OICI investigation files, visit this webpage.

A special note on restraint law revisions

Passed as emergency legislation, House Bill 8 became effective on May 17, 2021. This new law regarding the restraint of pregnant women and juveniles replaces the HB 1 law, which took effect on April 12, 2021. Please read this document to gain an understanding of the law changes regarding the restraint of pregnant females.

Proposed reforms

Since the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, there has been recognition that some reforms are necessary. Such actions would demonstrate to the public that officers can, should and do hold themselves to high standards and would empower departments by, for example, providing funding for training or instituting a way to remove bad actors. The following is a look at proposals that Attorney General Yost supports.

Read more:

>> On the Job newsletter story: “Policing today: The time to build, not tear down”
>> Press release announcing some proposals: Governor DeWine, Attorney General Yost Announce Plans for Meaningful Law Enforcement Reform

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