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You can now search Ohio’s police use of force database

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 7:08 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Office of Criminal Justice Services is promising Ohioans increased transparency for policing as the agency unveils a use of force database that’s searchable by you, the public.

Police use of force is under the microscope as Ohio and the country continue to debate police reform.

Now, you can search the number of cases in your own city or town.

19 Investigates found more than 200 law enforcement agencies in Ohio have voluntarily reported over 5,500 use of force reports through the state’s use of force database since 2018.

“For an agency to be able to share their information with the public, to create a level of transparency I think is really important, especially in today’s climate,” said Karhlton Moore, executive director of the Office of Criminal Justice Services.

The use of force database includes information like reports of shots fired, the use of any other lethal weapons, sprays or stun guns used and restraints and takedowns.

19 Investigates found you can search by law enforcement agency, whether the person was armed or not, or even by the suspect and officer’s race and gender.

We discovered Cleveland Police reported 117 use of force cases so far this year and Ohio State Highway Patrol reported 325 cases.

But some local police departments like Akron, Elyria, Lorain and Euclid have not reported to the database this year.

Moore said he knows it takes effort to open the curtain.

But he believes it will improve police-community relations.

“Sometimes people are hesitant to do that and we’re trying to encourage more and more agencies to share their use of force information and other information that they can share,” Moore said.

He points out this database is only as good as the information they’re getting from local police departments.

Moore said studying the data they receive can help them offer specific de-escalation training.

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