Gov. DeWine proposes state builds a scenario-based police training facility after Circleville K9 incident
Governor Mike DeWine said he wants to implement more uniform training for police departments across the state.
“Police training in the state of Ohio is not equal,” Gov. DeWine said.
Gov. Dewine feels that big city police departments are excellently trained - but when you get to the smaller departments they don't have the resources for the training needed. He is proposing the state build a scenario-based training facility that all agencies can send their officers to.
“You lessen the odds of something bad happening when you have that training,” Gov. DeWine said.
The idea for more uniform training comes after a video surfaced from July 4 when a Circleville K9 handler released his canine on a suspect that was surrendering with his hands up at a traffic stop. Police tried to pull over Jadarrius Rose, 23, of Memphis, Tennessee, who was driving a commercial semitruck that was missing a mudflap and failed to halt for an inspection. After eventually stopping Rose initially refused to get out of the truck and later defied instructions to get on the ground, according to the Highway Patrol incident report and the body cam video.
Marc Peluso, a K9 dog trainer and Ohio Police officer said it's easy for people to judge what’s happening in a video posted online - but when it's happening in real time the officer needs to make a split second decision.
“We don’t get to sit back, recharge and make a very spread out timeline decision and say ‘yeah we could do this, this might be better.” No, it’s a now decision,” he said.
DeWine feels what happened in Circleville should give people incentive to make sure police training is uniform.
Several departments we spoke to in the Mahoning Valley feel like they have adequate training and would welcome even more on top of that - but what it comes down to is time and money.
“Right now we’re a few men short,” John Norman, Girard Police Chief said. “You can’t get the whole department to train at one time … Here we can only take 2 or 3. You're taking them out and you're training them for 2, 3 days.”
Local police officers are already trained on several things like firearms, domestic violence situations, building clearing and more - all possible situations an officer might have to encounter on duty.
“It’s always a great thing to have so that way you can go through muscle memory and remember ‘ok well I just did this so I will be able to be applied to a real life scenario’ which helps every officer and suspect,” Pelusl said about training.
K9 units in Ohio all have to meet Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy standards. Peluso said handlers are trained to not send in their dog if the suspect is surrendering but added he doesn’t know what the Circleville K9 handler was dealing with in the moment.
“The dog did its job the way it was trained, to bite a suspect when given a command but that doesn’t mean that dog should’ve been deployed necessarily but who knows if that K9 officer was hearing the state highway (patrolmen) say do not deploy your dog,” Peluso said.
He doesn’t feel there is any lack of training for police in our area but said more always helps.
“Any training is going to be beneficial so I think that if you add more training you're always going to have a better outcome,” Peluso said.
Chief Norman recognizes his department might not have the exact same training as big city departments as DeWine said in his statement.
“We don’t go through homicides like a bigger city does but I think all that training helps in case you get one,” Chief Norman said. “It’s worth it but we gotta get time, officers and money all together.”
Gov. DeWine will include his idea of a state police training facility in the capitol budget proposal to the Ohio legislature.