The Beavercreek Police Department implemented most of the recommendations made by national, state and local law enforcement task forces before the suggestions were made within the last year, said Dennis Evers, the city police chief.
During a council work session on Monday, Evers outlined his eight-page report comparing recommendations made by President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the Ohio Governor’s Task force on Community-Police Relations and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training.
“What we’re doing in this document, meeting and exceeding these recommendations already … it is a testament to law enforcement in this general area,” Evers said. “Specifically in Greene County because we have several of the agencies that are (CALEA) accredited. It’s something that a number of agencies around us, if they did the same assessment, that would look somewhat similar to this (report).”
Recommendations made by the various task forces include:
• Promote public trust by initiating positive non-enforcement activities;
• Consider the potential damage to public trust when implementing crime fighting strategies;
• Develop comprehensive policies on use of force;
• Refrain from practices requiring officers to issue a predetermine number of tickets, citations or arrests to generate revenue;
• Implement a minimum of 40 hours of training for officers annually; and
• Implement standard training for dispatchers on correctly identifying calls.
The task forces made the recommendations following a series of officer-involved shootings nationwide and in Ohio last year. One of those shootings happened at the Walmart in Beavercreek. On Aug. 5, 2014, Officer Sean Williams shot and killed John Crawford III, 23, of Fairfield, who had picked up an unboxed air rifle from the store shelves.
Evers said the police department already was meeting or exceeding the task forces’ recommendations. Meeting the standards is because of CALEA accreditation requirements, Evers said, not in response to the Walmart shooting.
The Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommends law enforcement agencies create a broadly diverse workforce. According to Evers’ report, the city police officers reflect the demographics of the community. Beavercreek Police Department has three black police officers which accounts for 6 percent of city police department workers. The city has a 2.5 percent black population according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
The Governor’s Task force on Community-Police Relations suggests law enforcement agencies research body camera policies and procedures and establish best practices for using them.
The city police department recently established a committee to create a body camera use pilot program.
“We have a lot of data we’re pouring over,” Evers said. “… The bottom line is it’s going to come down to what it’s going to cost.”
Some council members said they had similar concerns about costs associated with city police officers wearing body cameras. The chief estimated the cameras will cost $700 to $1,400 each.
Beavercreek City Councilwoman Vicki Giambrone said it was important to determine how to the city would pay for the cameras and make sure they were getting good quality equipment.
“We’ve had this conversation before,” said Beavercreek City Councilwoman Vicki Giambrone. “We are not a city with an income tax. We are not a city with a lot of discretionary resources … we as representatives of the citizens need to be sure folks understand that it’s the right thing to do as we move forward.”
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