Law Enforcement

Supporting Law Enforcement

Mike DeWine has dedicated his career in public service to fighting crime and protecting our children and families. He has passed numerous laws and spearheaded innovative initiatives that protect victims of crime and has fought tirelessly to get local police and sheriffs the tools they need to do their jobs.

Mike DeWine’s roots are in local government, and he understands the unique needs of the men and women who put their lives on the line each day to keep our families safe. Starting as an Assistant Greene County Prosecuting Attorney, Mike DeWine first truly understood the pain and anguish of crime victims. While County Prosecutor, he slashed plea bargaining, successfully prosecuted rapists, and established a welfare fraud unit.

In the U.S. Senate, Mike DeWine promoted the then-emerging DNA technology, helping to expand the national database for DNA, fingerprint, and ballistics information, so that violent offenders — no matter where they traveled — could be caught and prosecuted.

As our Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine has brought much-needed leadership to the Attorney General’s Office, where he runs the state crime lab (BCI), the Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA), and the Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OCIC).

As Ohio’s next Governor, Mike DeWine has announced that he will ask the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) to purchase safety vests for every Ohio peace officer subject to shooting risk. The program would be similar to one already in effect at BWC in which fire departments can seek grant to purchase protective clothing for firefighters that insulates them against cancer risks from chemical at fire scenes. DeWine first became aware of this at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation when some of the vests that agents wore has been in service longer than the manufacturers recommended replacement cycle. As soon as he came aware of the problem, the Bureau immediately ordered new vests and began discussing the issue with BWC to determine if there was a way to implement a statewide program to ensure officers all over the state had access to funding to buy vests.

As Attorney General, Mike DeWine has launched a number of law enforcement initiatives to focus more resources and attention to make our communities safer.

State-Of-The-Art Crime Lab

Since becoming Attorney General, Mike DeWine has turned the state crime lab, BCI, into a state-of-the art facility, through stream-lined processes and much-needed resources. He has added 26 new BCI agents, 26 new Medicaid Fraud agents, 20 new law enforcement training officers, 45 new forensic scientists, and 6 new members of his criminal intelligence unit.

Supporting Law Enforcement

Additionally, since Mike DeWine took office in 2011, turnaround times for the analysis of DNA evidence at BCI have dropped dramatically. In December 2010, the average turnaround time for testing a piece of evidence at BCI was 125 days. Today, despite a dramatic increase in the amount of evidence tested, analysts process DNA evidence in an average of 23 days.

Rape Kit Testing Initiative

After taking office, Attorney General DeWine learned that thousands of sexual assault kits that had never been submitted for DNA testing were still on the evidence shelves of law enforcement agencies throughout the state. In 2011, he formed a task force that came up with recommendations to solve the problem resulting in his call for law enforcement agencies to send their previously untested kits to BCI for lab analysis at no cost to the local agencies.

Law enforcement agencies submitted 13,931 cases to the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. Of those, they have received DNA matches in 36 percent of the cases, resulting in charges being filed against hundreds of attackers. Additionally, DNA testing has linked 300 serial offenders to 1,127 crimes.

Fighting Illegal Drugs

From the beginning of his administration, Mike DeWine started fighting against the prescription pill problem, taking away the licenses of over 100 so-called doctors and shutting down pill mills across the state. He created a Heroin Unit to pursue drug traffickers and investigate opioid- related cases and to work with communities devastated by the opioid crisis. The unit assists local law enforcement through BCI investigative and laboratory services, OCIC task forces, prosecution support, and outreach and education services.

Crimes Against Children Unit

Mike DeWine created a Crimes Against Children Unit in his office to focus on identifying, arresting, and convicting people who prey on kids through sexual and other forms of abuse, child pornography, solicitation of minors, and similar crimes. BCI special agents investigate crimes involving child victims, prosecutors with the Special Prosecutions Section prosecute child predators, and the Crime Victim Services Section assists young victims with needed services. Though this initiative, his office created a rapid response team to immediately respond when help is needed with cases involving child victims anywhere in Ohio.

Enhanced Law Enforcement Training Opportunities

As Attorney General, Mike DeWine has provided cutting-edge training for law enforcement through his Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy by increasing the number of on-line courses, putting a greater focus on scenario-based training, and taking training directly to officers through regional programming.

OPOTA instructors have taught 5,310 courses in campuses in Richfield and London since Attorney General DeWine has been in office. In addition, OPOTA instructors have taught more than 1,340 courses to 306,000 law enforcement officers at their regional training locations since 2011.

In 2016, the Attorney General’s Office added a new learning platform for OPOTA courses in the form of live-streaming webcasts. With its user-friendly, interactive platform, the webcast enables OPOTA to present courses to up to 3,000 students at a time. Also, OPOTA’s Mobile Academy, which Mike DeWine created, provides free training at an agency’s doorstep. The firearms and driving courses use state-of-the-art simulators.

In 2017, Attorney General DeWine unveiled OPOTA’s newest law enforcement training program — Scenario Training Equipment Program (STEP), which is a cost-effective method of bringing scenario-based training — which replicates real-world, high-stress situations — to Ohio law enforcement agencies across the state. STEP provides an inventory of training equipment that OPOTA manages like a library. To take advantage of STEP, agencies must send at least one instructor to OPOTA’s Scenario Based Training Instructor course and submit safety and lesson plans to borrow STEP equipment. STEP allows individual agencies to tailor the program to fit their individual needs.

As Governor, Mike DeWine has committed to providing full funding in his budget for 40 hours of Continuing Professional Training for every law enforcement officer in Ohio.

Download a full description of Mike DeWine’s Law Enforcement Agenda, that creates an Ohio that works for everyone.