U.S. Department of Justice to Review Columbus Division of Police
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) accepted the City of
Columbus’ invitation to review the Columbus Division of Police and provide
assistance through its Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. This
is the first time in the city’s history that the DOJ has been involved with the
city under its COPS Office.
“This is an important day for the future of policing in
Columbus,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This is not about one particular
officer, policy or incident; rather, this is about reforming the entire
institution of policing in Columbus. I am confident in the partnership and the
additional tools the DOJ’s COPS Office will bring to our city.”
“We ask our officers to constantly train to be better, to
strive for the next level of skill and excellence. This is no different,” said
Police Chief Elaine Bryant. “Our work is too important, the stakes are too
high, for us to ever be satisfied with the status quo.”
The areas identified by Chief Bryant as potential focus opportunities
include policy reviews and evaluation, officer and leadership training, recruitment,
technology and establishing an early intervention system for officers.
“This partnership has great potential to improve our community’s
policing practices,” said City Attorney Zach Klein. “The resources and
expertise of the DOJ will provide ways to improve the Division of Police, while
supporting officers and giving them the tools to increase public safety for all
Columbus residents, which is our ultimate goal."
The COPS Office is the federal component of the DOJ
responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. For decades, COPS has
been providing assistance and resources to reduce crime and build trust between
law enforcement and communities.
The engagement with the city begins immediately.