Part 1 introduced the Grove City Division of Police, a department responsible for servicing a large suburb in the southwest corner of Franklin County. As the community has grown over the years, the city’s law enforcement has kept pace. They are among the 10% of communities in the United States whose police department received accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
The department consists of two sub-divisions: Field Service and Support. Patrol, bike patrol, traffic-crash investigation, the Strategic Response Team (SRT), and Honor Guard are part of Field Service while Youth Services (which includes D.A.R.E.), communications, and investigative fall under the latter. Part of the South-Western City Schools, each of the three high schools that falls within city limits (Central Crossing, Grove City HS, and the South-Western Career Academy) has its own resource officer. There is a single ‘roving’ officer assigned to the intermediate and middle schools.
Ohio is an ‘open’ state, meaning that basic officer certification can be obtained through any one of a number of paths. Grove City has chosen to send its candidates through the State Patrol Academy, a residential facility with a high-discipline, military environment. Reserve officers, although unpaid, receive the same state certification and training as full-time officers but don’t necessarily go through the State Patrol Academy.
Each patrol officer carries a baton, Taser, and chemical weapon (e.g., pepper spray or Mace).
Cruisers—a mix of Ford Crown Vics and Chevy Impalas—are equipped with a local radio, Ohio LEERN (Law Enforcement Emergency Radio Network), computer, video camera, and speed-measuring device (laser or radar).
The computers have been a tremendous benefit. Officers can call up a BMV record which will include a photo (for people who just happened to forget their driver’s license while out marauding). Records checks no longer require a dispatcher and voice communications. Pending service calls can be displayed, so officers who are closer to the next one in the stack can respond quicker.
See “Meet your police: Grove City” part 1 for more information.