The Howland Police Department is committed to progressing our department, our Officers, and our Community forward through not just words, but actions as well. We hear and acknowledge the injustices that have occurred from Law Enforcement. We hear and acknowledge that those injustices have strained the confidence and trust of the public, which we are sworn to protect and serve. We are committed to remain transparent, as transparency builds trust in communities. We will continue to work with the Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Agency in order to maintain our policy and procedure certifications, including: Investigation of Employee Misconduct; Bias Free Policing; and Vehicular Pursuit Standards. This process allows us to work directly with Governor DeWine’s Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations, which provides guidance and ensures that our policies & procedures are current and holds us accountable to make sure that all of our Officers are properly trained. We support our Governor and Attorney General in seeking meaningful Law Enforcement reform through their proposed actions such as an Oversight and Accountability Board, Use of Force Data Base, and Assistance for Purchasing Equipment. We also recognize that we have already been on the right path as many of Governor DeWine’s proposals are already our common practices, including Independent Investigations of Officer -Involved Incidents, Banned Chokeholds unless justified in using deadly force, Psychological Exams are utilized before applicants are hired, Diverse Recruitment, and Officers are subject to Advanced Training on a continual basis. We want our Community to know that we are committed to you and our main objective is to maintain peace and order so we can all live as one and feel safe in our community. We have a motto at the Howland Police Department that states, “Treat People the Way You Would Want Your Family to be Treated by a Police Officer”, and we will honor that motto by interacting with every individual with dignity, compassion, and respect.
The following are some practices that our department commits to implement, has implemented, and will continue to work on in order to improve Community – Police relations.
- We commit to increase cultural diversity training for all personnel to better serve our diverse Community.
- We commit to further develop and adopt additional cultural diversity practices to implement during our rigorous hiring process.
- We commit to Officer involvement with local Community organizations as we continue to promote Community Oriented Policing through events such as Shop With a Cop, Community Safety Day, and Police department guided classroom tours; continue Officers routinely walking foot-beats through local businesses, schools, and our neighborhoods to promote genuine interaction and understanding outside of non-emergency and emergency calls for service.
- We proudly commit School Resource Officers to the Howland Local School District, with the collaboration of Township Trustees and the Howland Board of Education.
- Since 2017, we have received our State Certification for Police Policy & Procedures and continue to work with Governor DeWine’s Ohio Task Force on Community- Police Relations to maintain State Certification.
- All of our Officers are certified in Crisis Intervention, which improves our response when interacting with individuals who show signs of behavior issues, mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, and the developmental disabled.
- Since 2017, we have joined forces with Project Dawn and equipped every Officer with Naloxone Kits to combat the opioid crisis.
- In 2018, we implemented a Drug Drop-Off Program. The Drop-Off box is located in the front lobby of the Police Department.
- In 2018, we began our Are U Ok Program: This program is intended to check the well-being of elderly Howland Township residents who qualify.
- Since 2018, we have provided the Howland Safe Exchange Zone: Designated to the west side rear parking lot, this area is under 24/7 video surveillance and is intended to be a safe location for interactions, such as child custody exchanges and finalizing internet sale transactions.
- Officers are equipped with trauma kits, including tourniquets, to ensure that we will have the tools needed to save the lives of others in our Community and Officers, if they suffer a traumatic injury.
- Officers are equipped with a Hazardous Material Kit to help keep our Community and Officers safe during this Corona Virus Pandemic.
- We have transitioned our department to the Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCs). This radio system works off of cell technology, which will greatly increase our communication between Dispatchers, Officers, and surrounding Police agencies to better serve our Community.
- In 2018, we transitioned to the Ohio Law Enforcement Information System which is a free crash reporting system through the State of Ohio.
- We conduct Active Shooter Training with all Howland local churches who wish to participate.
- We provide security assessments to all local businesses.
This is not a final solution, but continuing progress forward aimed to be a part of the solution to better our society. We can change now, for a hope to a better future. Let us all do our part to progress our Communities, our States, and our Nation forward to become better together.