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Criminal Justice Update

Agencies invited to borrow training equipment

A new program from the Attorney General’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) is bringing free, scenario-based training to the doorsteps of local law enforcement agencies.

During his 2017 Law Enforcement Conference, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the Scenario Training Equipment Program (STEP), which offers an inventory of training equipment that OPOTA manages like a library. 

“We know that not everyone can send their officers to OPOTA in London,” DeWine said. “So we are trying to expand scenario-based training with the STEP program.”

To borrow the equipment, the agency has to send at least one instructor to attend OPOTA’s Scenario Based Training Instructor course and submit a safety plan and scenario lesson plan. Once the instructor has completed the course, the agency can borrow from OPOTA’s library of equipment.

Joseph Sidoti, a course instructor, said the class teaches the safest and most effective ways to conduct force-on-force training. 

Some of the topics covered include the psychological and physiological effects of stress on human performance; safely creating stress during training; developing scenarios to meet an agency’s needs; documenting scenario-based training; managing the logistical challenges of training; best practices for debriefing; and increasing officer performance. 

Each kit includes:
  • Training pistols.
  • Training rifles (AR-style). 
  • Marking cartridges.
  • Training Tasers, pepper spray, and batons.
  • Protective gear for students, role players, and instructors.
  • Role player props.
Upon request, the kits are delivered to agencies and picked up by members of the OPOTA staff.

“Agencies wanting to conduct scenario-based training in-house at their own facilities are often met with the cost of purchasing training equipment, marking cartridges, and protective gear,” DeWine said. “All of that can be very expensive. OPOTA is now able to deliver that gear to your agency free of charge.”

The kits allow agencies to customize their training.

“Agencies can address local hot topics, conduct training during any shift, teach and enforce their own policies and procedures, customize the training, and save money by borrowing equipment, managing training overtime, and cutting down on travel,” he said.

To register for OPOTA’s Scenario Based Training Instructor course, visit

For more information, send an email to