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Articles About police matters
Body cameras worn by every Ohio police officer. Psychological evaluations of those who hope to become an officer. More training in implicit bias and de-escalation. Requiring officers to report on another officer’s misconduct. Those are a few proposed law enforcement reforms Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced at a press briefing last week in response to national outrage after high-profile killings of Black people by police in recent weeks.
Amid national calls for policing reform following the most recent wave of killings of Black people by police officers, villagers are once again raising their voices for change in the Yellow Springs Police Department.
An ad hoc citizen committee is reviewing a disciplinary matter involving two officers of the Yellow Springs Police Department.
Three-quarters of respondents in a survey on police and the Village said they would like the police to engage with the community more often, including by patrolling more on bicycle and foot instead of in their cruisers and visiting schools to speak with students.
Some villagers fear for their own safety because they believe the Yellow Springs Police Department unfairly targets them. Others believe the police force is so professional and respectful that any critique of the force is unjustified.
Policing is unique to each community, and each police department is designed around its own community’s population, budget, crime trends, minimum manning levels and sometimes a detailed work-load analysis. But comparing Yellow Springs police to police in comparable towns highlights some similarities and some differences between departments.
Late one evening last month, a local couple was celebrating their anniversary with friends at the Gulch.
During a ride-along with this reporter last Friday evening, Village police displayed an eagerness to explain their process and offer the perspective of an on-duty officer.
While last year there were 28 murders in the City of Dayton and more than 1,200 violent crimes there, violence in Yellow Springs has barely been an issue, with an average of about three violent incidents each year for the last seven.
Ten years after first signing on with A.C.E. drug task force, Yellow Springs remains an active partner. However, the involvement of local police in the drug task force has become a topic of controversy.