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Governor's sweeping reforms address state's hole-filled warrant system

Ohio Warrant Task Force releases alarming findings
Posted at 7:46 PM, May 31, 2019

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Governor's Warrant Task Force has issued sweeping reforms after finding more than a half million warrants for suspected offenders across Ohio were never properly issued or served.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine created the task force shortly after taking office in January to examine the state's system for tracking down suspected offenders who are subject to arrest warrants but are not registered in a key database used by law enforcement. As a result, suspected offenders of violent crimes could be stopped by police and released because the warrants are not routinely entered in the state's law enforcement automated database LEADS.

At a news conference in Columbus, DeWine released a 23-page report that identified 15 key recommendations.

Among them:

  • Identify and prioritize criminal offenses that create substantial risk to public, victim or officer safety
  • Call for new legislation mandating offenses such as murder, rape, domestic violence and 25 others be entered into LEADS
  • Develop new statewide system for tracking warrants

"The absence of an organized, statewide warrant system in Ohio has led to an overabundance of outstanding warrants for minor offenses and a growing backlog of unserved warrants for serious, violent crimes," DeWine said.

RELATED: Potentially deadly bench warrant glitch leaves suspected violent offenders on the streets

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