DOJ Releases ‘Roadmap’ To Reforming Policing In Columbus

COPS Office Tuesday announced the completion of a Roadmap for Implementation for the Columbus Division of Police
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The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) Tuesday announced the completion of a Roadmap for Implementation for the Columbus Division of Police (CDP), the result of targeted technical assistance that was provided to CDP at the request of the city of Columbus, Ohio.

The report is a summary of that technical assistance and is designed to be a roadmap to build a foundation for reform:

The areas of examination covered in the Roadmap represent the scope of work as agreed to by the Department of Justice and the city, and includes policy reviews and associated training, recruitment, technology, staffing and leadership training. Specifically, the technical assistance team reviewed the organizational structure of several units within the division; examined the division’s technology, including how the division’s IT infrastructure relates to other city systems; and offered specific ideas on how to enhance CDP’s engagement with the community it serves.

Upon receiving the Roadmap, city and CDP officials initiated a request for an independent review of CDP’s use of force policies and practices, and based on recommendations in the report, a technology assessment and assistance with the design and development of pro-active problem-solving strategies. The COPS Office has agreed to undertake such a review and that work will begin immediately.

“The Justice Department, through our COPS Office, is proud to work with police departments seeking to improve and learn from best practices in the field,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The city’s request to expand its engagement with COPS to review additional areas, including CDP’s use of force policies, is an important step that will benefit both CDP and the community.”

“The roadmap we have shared with CDP and the assistance we have provided will help the department in its collaborative efforts to enhance public safety. We commend the CDP for reaching out to the Department of Justice and for working diligently alongside the COPS Office in this process,” said Hugh T. Clements, Jr., Director of the COPS Office. “We look forward to continuing to partner with CDP as we begin the additional assistance that has been requested, and we know that both the department and the community will be well-served by all of this work in the months and years ahead.”

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance.

Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served.

The COPS Office has been appropriated more than $20 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to over 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 136,000 officers.

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