In the spirit of educating our campus community on safety, I want to address the recent Lantern article “Police data shows racial disparities in stops for suspicious activity,” originally published on April 5. Absent from the piece is key information about how The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) operates while serving our community.

OSUPD is accredited by CALEA and the State of Ohio Collaborative, which means we follow the best-recognized law enforcement practices in the industry. In 2016, our officers received 111 compliments, six citizen complaints and no allegations of bias-based policing.

The data analyzed in the April 5 article represents interactions with a much broader community than students, faculty and staff. In fact, 80 percent of field interviews conducted by OSUPD are with individuals unaffiliated with the university. These include OSUPD’s service at both the Wexner Medical Center and at OSU Hospital East, making the data comparable to city of Columbus’ demographics.

OSUPD values being a part of a diverse and inclusive community, and we are committed to open and active dialogue with all of its citizens. Regular outreach efforts include hosting discussions with student groups, conducting officer training on diversity and inclusion, as well as implicit bias and organizing community police academies with students, faculty and staff to learn more about what matters most to our community.We encourage anyone interested in participating to sign up online at the Department of Public Safety’s website.

The safety and security of our campus community is, and always will be, our top priority.

Respectfully Submitted,

Craig A. Stone
Chief of Ohio State University Police