COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine held a news conference at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus with the latest information on the state's response to COVID-19.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are now 39,162 confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus in the state. 2,421 Ohioans have died. However, the number of day-to-day cases decreased for the second day in a row.
DeWine, speaking without Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, spent much of his hour discussing law enforcement in the aftermath of death of George Floyd.
The governor made three key announcements:
- Encouraging the 400+ law enforcement agencies in the state that are not certified in Ohio’s use-of-force and hiring/recruitment standards to begin working on the process of becoming certified. According to DeWine, 79 percent of Ohio’s law enforcement officers work for an agency that is certified - or is in the process of becoming certified -- but the total number of certified agencies is only around half of all of Ohio’s departments.
- Directing the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board to begin developing a new minimum standard on law enforcement’s response to mass protests. Through this standard, DeWine said he wants peaceful demonstrators to feel safe when asserting their First Amendment rights and for the public to be protected against violence and destruction of their property.
- Creating a new Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment within the Ohio Criminal Justice Services to help local agencies with the recruitment and retention of minorities and women in law enforcement.
DeWine was also asked if he was in favor of 'defunding the police,' a concept that has been gathering steam in recent days. He referred to the idea as 'absurd.'
One other note of interest to Northeast Ohio came when DeWine announced that GOJO of Akron will be expanding its operation to meet the demand for Purell products. The expansion includes a new facility in Maple Heights. The company expects to create at least 200 new jobs as a result.