By Justin Wier
The Canfield Police Department received certification for implementing standards set by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.
The advisory board resulted from a task force established by Gov. John Kasich in 2014. The standards are intended to instill greater public confidence in Ohio’s police department.
Sgt. Jim Conrad of the Canfield Police Department said that though the standards are voluntary, the department is fully committed to adopting the policies and practices the board puts in place.
“Anything that helps the relationship between the community and the police department that serves them is beneficial,” Conrad said.
Canfield’s certification required complying with standards regarding the use of force and hiring practices. These were the initial standards created by the advisory board, but they have since developed others.
Conrad said the department’s use-of-force policy met the board’s standards, the department just had to provide documentation. While the department was practicing the hiring standards, they had to create a formal policy to comply. The standards state that departments should “strive to have a diverse work force that reflects the citizens served.”
The advisory board has developed additional standards regarding bias-free policing, law-enforcement telecommunicator training and body cameras.
Canfield intends to adopt the additional policies in the future.
“Unfortunately it’s not something that can be done in one fell swoop,” Conrad said. “It’s going to take some time.”
In Mahoning County, the Austintown, Beaver, Jackson, New Middletown and Springfield Township police departments have also adopted the standards along with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and the Mill Creek Metro Parks police department.