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OPOTC aims for greater efficiency

The Peace Officer Training Commission is on a quest to cut red tape, remove inefficiencies, and improve customer service.

For five days in June, LeanOhio, an agency within the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, worked with OPOTC’s professional standards staff to simplify processes using the philosophy of Kaizen, a Japanese word that means to break apart or change for the better.

The review and plan-development exercise is free and designed to cut costs in state government.

Mary Davis, executive director of OPOTC and the Attorney General’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA), told the commission that other processes are to be examined.

“If we cut time and costs, we will see big rewards,” she said.

A summary scorecard from the Kaizen event, shows possible reductions in process steps, decision points, handoffs, and functions.

“If you look at our process steps, it currently takes 213 steps to get people certified,” Davis said. “In the end, we are looking at 21 steps.”

 The staff learned how to use different tools and work through systematic changes.

To make the changes, a representative from each classification of the professional standards staff — field agents, certification officers, and administrative professionals — will lead a team to work through ways to implement the changes. They will oversee various working groups representing the rest of the staff and outside perspectives. In six months, LeanOhio will review the progress.

Streamlining the processes will help with some of the advisory group recommendations, Davis said.

In 2014, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appointed an advisory group to look at how Ohio trains its law enforcement officers and to make suggestions for improvement. In April 2015, the Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training completed its report. The document offered 29 recommendations regarding improving standards and included innovations to improve the law enforcement profession. OPOTC has been working to fulfill the recommendations. So far, 24 have been completed.

“If we decrease these processes, we are going to be able to free field agents from dealing with administrative things,” she said. “They will be available to be at the academies and observe, instead of just seeing it on paper, which will help us with increased oversight and quality control.”