(WKBN) – On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a briefing on his plan for police reform. Mahoning County’s top law enforcement officer has some interesting things to say about several of the governor’s proposals.
DeWine hopes many of his police reform proposals become law, but for Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene, one of his biggest issues is body cameras.
“The biggest problem with body cameras is maintaining the data of those body cameras, whether it’s a cloud or you have it on your computer software in your agency. Many times, it will become very time consuming and it’s also expensive to purchase them,” Greene said.
Greene said the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department bought their body cameras with grant money.
He said body cameras are great to protect officers from false allegations and show when an officer is acting improperly.
“It’s an excellent tool. It’s also an evidentiary tool and I really think having a body camera on an officer raises the bar for everybody,” Greene said.
Another one of DeWine’s proposals is getting a license to become an officer, similar to doctors and lawyers. It would keep officers who get let go from just going to another department.
“One of the things that has frustrated me over the years is when my officer has either fired somebody or somebody has resigned from my office that flat out wasn’t a good employee, many times, they get picked up by another agency,” Greene said.
DeWine is also asking lawmakers to ban chokeholds unless in a justified situation.
“The most obvious example is somebody trying to get your gun and use your own gun on you,” Greene said.
Or protecting somebody whose life is in danger.
In his career, Greene said the chokehold was not used as a self-defense technique.
“I believe it’s a good rule that should be implemented but I do believe if that officer is in fear of his life, he needs to use whatever means he can to save his life or that of another,” Greene said.
Greene also worries about the cost of training and how it will increase over time.