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Government & Politics

Ohio FOP Ok With Some Reforms, But Says One Idea Is A "Non-Starter"

Protestors marched from the Statehouse to Columbus Police Headquarters on May 31.
Protestors marched from the Statehouse to Columbus Police Headquarters on May 31.

The state’s largest law enforcement organization says it’s cautiously on board with a lot of ideas being pushed out at the local, state and federal levels on police reforms.

Ohio Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Jason Pappas says though horror stories of bad officers are making headlines, more cops are dismissed for misconduct than people might think.

“The public doesn’t see how many officers are actually terminated from employment. All they see are the controversial ones.”

Pappas says law enforcement can accept concepts such as more training, body cameras with what he calls reasonable policies, oversight boards with fair processes and databases to keep officers with bad records from getting rehired.

“As far as what has been presented to us, there is very little that is going to cause us great concern.”

But Pappas says an idea discussed at the federal level to drop qualified immunity and allow cops to be subject to lawsuits is a non-starter.

“Qualified immunity’s a very important tool for law enforcement, and if you remove those safeguards, it could have a major negative impact not just on today’s law enforcement, but the recruiting and retention of qualified people across this country.”

You can hear more in an extended conversation with Jason Pappas on "The State of Ohio" this weekend.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.