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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

OPOTC Unanimously Approves Task Force’s Recommended Changes for Law Enforcement Training



(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) has unanimously approved recommendations put forth by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future of Police Training, signaling a significant step forward in transforming the training of Ohio law enforcement.

 

“Law enforcement officers face unprecedented challenges daily, and it’s our duty to equip them with the best-in-class training and support they deserve,” Yost said. “We have updated training in pieces, but now with the commission’s approval, we can wholistically overhaul the training criteria to better equip officers with the training and tools they need to protect themselves and Ohioans.”

 

The Blue Ribbon Task Force was convened by Attorney General Yost in the fall of 2023 to identify areas for improvement in basic and continuing peace officer training, determine recommended standards for new officers, outline expectations for instructors, and establish new training methods.

 

The seven primary recommendations that OPOTC has now approved are:

 

    Amend the Peace Officer Basic Training (POBT) curriculum to reflect contemporary police services.


    Establish certification levels to reflect an officer’s training and experience.

    Create a Tactical Patrol Officer Program.


    Add new technologies while incorporating elements of reality-based situational decision-making scenarios into both basic and advanced training.


    Develop integrated lesson plans across training platforms.


    Focus Continuing Professional Training (CPT) so that it keeps advancing police services.

    Expand annual firearms qualifications.

 

The 11-member task force, chaired by OPOTA Executive Director Tom Quinlan, published a special report in February, outlining their recommendations and detailing suggested remedies.

 

Prior to the commission’s vote, Quinlan stressed that the recommendations do not represent a condemnation of prior state-approved training protocols, but rather provide an updated roadmap.

 

“It is important to note that the recommendations are interdependent, and the best results will be realized when the combined strategies complement one another over time,” Quinlan added.

 

Notably, the adopted recommendations require changes at the basic academy level, including adjustments to the physical fitness standards required to graduate. Academies will also see a substitution of 72 hours of outdated curriculum with new courses on active shooter and threat response, critical decision making, crisis mitigation and de-escalation, communications and mediation, and incident debrief.

 

The recommendations that would alter Peace Officer Basic Training will require amendments to the Ohio Administrative Code. Yost’s office will work with the General Assembly on necessary changes as part of the implementation process. 

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