Criminal Justice Update
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Criminal Justice Update

Online or on the road, OPOTA serves local law enforcement


The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) is reaching out to serve local law enforcement by making trainings even more convenient for time-strapped and budget-conscious agencies across Ohio.

“Our job is to assist local law enforcement. Whatever the needs of law enforcement are for training, we do our best to meet them, while at the same time making them convenient and affordable,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Many of OPOTA’s courses are free, and online courses offer the convenience of being available 24/7 on the Internet, where any officer working any shift can have access.”

A goal set by DeWine is to increase the trainings available and to schedule them within an hour’s drive of most law enforcement agencies — at large venues close to major interstates — and with free parking.

“We’re in the business of providing law enforcement with the best instruction possible at the lowest possible cost. It doesn’t get any lower than free,” said Bob Fiatal, who serves as executive director of the academy and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission that oversees it.

OPOTA also works to keep the content of regional trainings relevant to a broad law enforcement audience, currently covering such topics as prescription drug abuse, tactical and legal considerations in traffic stops, awareness of distressed combat veteran issues, and basic crime scene investigation.

In addition to OPOTA instructors, the faculty includes law enforcement professionals, higher education instructors, medical personnel, and others who regularly practice what they teach.

As DeWine says, “We are here to serve law enforcement. This is about customer service. This is about meeting the current needs of the men and women on the ground who are risking their lives every day to protect our families. Bringing these courses directly into the communities and directly to the people is the future of law enforcement training. Times have changed, and we want to be flexible and adaptable to meet current and future needs of law enforcement.”

A wide array of courses also is available at the London and Richfield OPOTA campuses. And when traveling to regional trainings or OPOTA campuses isn’t an option, online courses through eOPOTA are a good (and popular) alternative. The lineup of courses — all available 24/7 at no cost to local agencies — has more than doubled in recent years, now totaling more than 60.

All courses are listed in OPOTA’s online catalog at To receive e-mail alerts about OPOTA’s regional offerings, share your e-mail and other contact information at

Share your suggestions with OPOTA: The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy wants to help you address your law enforcement training needs. To let us know how OPOTA can better serve your agency, contact Executive Director Bob Fiatal at or call him at 740-845-2757.