Criminal Justice Update
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Criminal Justice Update

News & notes

Yost announces task force on future of LE training
Attorney General Dave Yost has announced the formation of a blue-ribbon task force to examine the future of police training in the state, exploring how best to create and deliver world-class continuing education for the state’s roughly 30,000 law enforcement officers. Yost expects the task force to return its recommendations by mid-January. “We’ve dismantled the old curriculum system at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and are taking steps to replace it with state-of-the-art technology, techniques and courses that officers can look forward to taking,” he said. The task force, consisting of leaders from Ohio’s policing community, will be chaired by OPOTA Assistant Executive Director Thomas Quinlan — the former Columbus police chief who, as commander, oversaw the Columbus Police Training Academy.
OPOTA adds 6th regional training site to lineup
Owens Community College in Perrysburg, about 10 miles south of Toledo in Wood County, recently joined the list of regional providers that are delivering OPOTA-certified training to Ohio peace officers as part of the Close to Home program. The program, created to augment the in-person offerings at OPOTA’s main campus and Tactical Training Center in London, gives officers greater access to advanced training while helping to reduce the time and expense involved in overnight travel. Since Close to Home launched in 2022, the number of courses offered and officers attending training at the regional locations has more than quadrupled — from 17 courses to 71, and 157 students to 639.
Project that tests video-feed access for police is extended
The Attorney General’s Office has extended a Miami Valley pilot project testing the effectiveness of a web-based tool that can give law enforcement agencies quick access to public and private video feeds to help solve crimes.
Police departments in Dayton, Miamisburg, Trotwood and West Carrollton as well as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office are participating in the project, called TALEN, short for Technology Anonymized Law Enforcement Notification. At the heart of the project is an online platform that uses public and private video feeds from cameras monitoring schools, traffic, parks, shopping areas and other locations. Doorbell cameras can be added to the network with permission from residents.
“TALEN is like a supercharged, technology-enabled neighborhood watch,” AG Yost said. “It’s a major force for good.”
The pilot project began in 2020 and will now run through June 2024. The extension allows for additional data collection and for greater feedback from law enforcement, businesses and the community. To date, TALEN has been successfully used in investigations of a homicide, a felonious assault and a juvenile drowning, and in a school-safety response exercise.
3 human-trafficking task forces chalk up major wins
Cross-department law enforcement task forces formed under the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission continued to advance the state’s fight against human traffickers and sexual predators, with three of these units reporting successes this summer.
On July 11, the Summit Regional Human Trafficking Task Force arrested and charged nine men during a one-day operation aimed at buyers of sex.
The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force saw a long-term investigation come to close when a Lowellville resident was sentenced on July 12 to 24 years and three months in prison for sexually exploiting a minor.
A long-term investigation by the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force culminated in June with the conviction and sentencing of a human trafficker and one co-conspirator. Another co-conspirator had previously been convicted and sentenced. The three ran a commercial sex-trafficking operation out of hotels in Warrensville Heights and an apartment building in Maple Heights.
CPT reminder: Log hours now to avoid end-of-year problems
OPOTA is strongly encouraging law enforcement agencies to act now to report continuing professional training hours accrued by their officers in 2023. Agencies must report CPT hours and their officers’ hourly rates on the OPOTA Portal, at The online system, new this year, was designed for agencies to report throughout the year. An instructional video is available on the portal homepage.
Timely reporting of CPT hours has two key benefits for agencies: They are reimbursed quicker and avoid the risk of having their officers ordered to “cease function” for not completing and logging CPT. In that event, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission would need to review each case before an officer could return to duty.