COLUMBUS- State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) yesterday provided sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 11, which would require the Attorney General to create a law enforcement officer database for hiring eligibility. The database would house information regarding law enforcement officers who have been terminated from employment, resigned in lieu of termination, resigned during a departmental investigation, or resigned before a disciplinary hearing within 30 days of the termination or resignation. It also creates a database tracking the terminations and resignations of law enforcement officers across the state of Ohio.
“House Bill 11 would ensure that police departments have all the information they need when making hiring decisions. Law enforcement officers tasked to protect and serve our communities should not be able to conceal past misconduct, emotional instability, or wrongdoing when seeking employment at another law enforcement agency. This legislation will keep our communities safer, and I am encouraged by the bipartisan support House Bill 11 has received,” said Rep. Sheehy.
“I have had many conversations with law enforcement personnel, community members, and government officials who question how trust and confidence can be restored between law enforcement and citizens. This bill is one step in the right direction,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson.
The bill was inspired by the recommendations of then-Governor Kasich’s Task Force on Community-Police Relations in 2015, as well as the death of Tamir Rice. The officer involved in the death of Tamir Rice resigned from the Independence Police Department when he was deemed emotionally unstable and unfit for duty, particularly regarding the use of firearms. The officer then sought employment in Cleveland, where he lied about his reasons for leaving his previous department.
HB 11 awaits further hearings in the House State and Local Government Committee.