Area police implement new state standards
WKEF - sapolice
TIPP CITY, Ohio (WRGT) - Having a run-in with police isn't at the top of anyone's list.
"I've been pulled over," said Mike Makowski. "I've been administered a DUI test. I wasn't drunk, but it was still very scary, very traumatizing."
Police nationwide are still struggling with a negative spotlight.
"Whenever I see a police car, I'm like, 'Oh god,'" said Jason Moon. "Even though I'm not doing anything wrong."
Meanwhile, departments are working to rebuild trust.
"I just believe that we should continuously try to improve what we're doing," said Tipp City Police Chief Eric Burris.
Burris recently certified his department through new state standards. The guidelines were rolled out by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, a 24-member task force created by Gov. Kasich in 2014 after the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Agencies have until March to implement policies in three areas.
"Use of force, use of deadly force, and recruiting and hiring," Burris said.
Then, they'll have until 2017 to adopt even more.
"Community engagement, body cameras, and telecommunicator training, or dispatch training," he added.
There's also training on bias-free policing and profiling, which the state hasn't put a timeline on just yet.
"Not only do we have to provide a policy to the state, we also have to provide compliance documentation," said Burris.
The end goal is to create increased confidence in law enforcement, and show communities they care.
"I hope they realize, people look at this and say, 'Hey, they really want to do the right thing. They really have our best interests in mind.'"
"Anything that can increase the quality of our policing is a good thing," Makowski said.
A full report will be published in late March, but right now, there's no penalty for not complying. State officials hope communities will pressure their departments into adopting the changes, if they haven't already.
You can see a full list of certified agencies here.