By Frank Lewis
Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said the Kasich administration, by way of an Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations, has mandated additional training for police officers — and that training will most likely be paid for by what remains of local government funds which have been diminishing over the last several years and will, for all intents and purposes continue to diminish.
“It’s probably a catch-22,” Ware said. “I think we’re probably going to lose some local government funding and we’ll receive some of it back.”
Ware said the additional training is the new reality in policing and it will continue to be required.
First Ward Councilman Kevin W. Johnson speculated that in the next two years, the additional training will continue to be mandated, but most likely the funding will dry up, which would result in the city being obligated to pay for the additional training. Johnson said he supports the training but cautions that the city needs to be prepared for the requirement to fund it in the future.
“The community, the police — they want the same thing. Everyone wants to feel safe, be safe. People want to be safe in their homes, and officers want to go home safely at night,” John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and co-chairman of the task force, said.
The task force, formed by Kasich, consisted of community leaders, black legislators, ministers and police officers.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.