As numerous critical issues evolving around policing, appropriate use of force, and a myriad of various policing incidents in the news have garnered widespread attention, Mayor Ginther (in early 2018) appointed a 17-member Community Safety Advisory Commission to examine the Columbus Division of Police, with special focus in the areas of de-escalation, crisis intervention, and implicit bias training; use of force policies; diversity recruitment and retention; and early intervention and officer wellness programs. In each area, the commission was tasked with assessing what the city needs to do to provide public safety services that are transparent, accountable, and responsive for every person in every neighborhood. The commission has been meeting for the past 18 months and will deliver its final report and recommendations later this fall. Concurrently with this process, the city also hired an external consultant to carry out an operational review of the Division of Police, which included internal interviews, employee and community surveys, focus groups and data collection from a wide variety of internal and external sources.
Vlad Kogan, an OSU associate professor in the Department of Political Science, served as a member of the commission and as chair of its “Hot Topics” subcommittee. He will discuss the findings produced by the commission and the external consultant, as well as the recommendations made by both to improve the culture, diversity, and community trust and confidence in the Division of Police.