Subsequent Columbus police chief must get licensed with Ohio Peace Officer Coaching Academy

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In addition to the OPOTA certification, the next police chief must also pass the state certification exam.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – We heard about it now all four candidates hoping to become the next chief of the Columbus Division of Police.

Earlier this week, the city narrowed its boundaries Candidate list to the following finalists:

  • Elaine Bryant, assistant director of the Detroit Police Department
  • Derrick Diggs, Fort Myers Police Department chief
  • Avery Moore, Assistant Sheriff, Dallas Police Department
  • Ivonne Roman, Co-Founder of the 30X30 Initiative, NYU Policing Project

The next step is for Mayor Andrew Ginther to make his decision, but the new boss will have one more step in the process.

All four of the Columbus Police Chief’s finalists are from out of state. While they are all certified in their own state, they must go to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and get certified.

For the first time in the city’s history, Columbus will hire a police chief from outside the division.

The Columbus Civil Service Commission rules were changed in 2017 to include outside candidates for the position. Despite this option, Mayor Ginther hired the internal candidate Thomas Quinlan as boss in 2019.

“Ohio must be a peace officer in order to complete the approved Ohio Peace Officer training curriculum. There’s no label or demarcation between a peace officer, the road officer who’s out there every day, and a boss, ”said Richard Hardy, director of professional standards and education at the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy.

That means, no matter who hires Ginther to be the boss from the list of finalists, everyone must receive OPOTA certification.

OPOTA will look at the training the new boss has already completed and take this into account. A brand new officer typically has over 740 hours of training.

“You will likely need to complete at least 170 to 200 hours to cover legal mandates in Ohio. This includes prior ongoing training requirements, pet encounters, domestic violence training, child investigations, etc., ”said Hardy.

An exception was never made to skip certification, despite Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig attempting it in 2012, but his appeal was unsuccessful.

The new head of Columbus must also pass the state certification exam.

“It’s difficult. You can’t just walk in. There is a lot of preparation for it. Someone with a career in law enforcement likely has the skills, knowledge and ability to be successful in this endeavor,” Hardy said.

The new boss has one year to complete the certification.

Quinlan was boss from February 2019 to January of that year before Mayor Ginther asked him to resign.