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Executive Order 2019-10D

WHEREAS, Executive Order 2018-03K was issued on April 23, 2018 concerning National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) compliance; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to that order, the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) was directed to issue a report on the current status in Ohio of the reporting of all relevant information required by the NICS including arrest and disposition information into the Ohio Computerized Criminal History (CCH) database, warrants and protection orders into the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) and mental health adjudication records. OCJS was further ordered to identify barriers in Ohio to the timely and complete uploading of such information into NICS; and

WHEREAS, a working group, consisting of OCJS, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and the Supreme Court of Ohio, convened and with the assistance of OCJS staff and other local officials issued a report in August of 2018 setting forth its findings and recommendations.  This report contained recommendations to expand training and education on NICS requirements, reduce duplicative and unclear NICS reporting responsibility, and coordinate a strategic and structured system of NICS reporting; and

WHEREAS, on September 24, 2018, Executive Order 2018-10K was issued, expanding the 2015 working group into the permanent NICS Working Group, to meet quarterly and issue an annual report on NICS compliance to the Governor, the Attorney General, and to the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, a focus of these Executive Orders has been NICS compliance, which includes the timely submission of arrest warrants into LEADS.  There is a broader need to study and reform the issue of arrest warrants, issued from Ohio courts and law enforcement, as well as the timely service of these warrants.  Courts across Ohio routinely issue a multitude of warrants for individuals who fail to appear for a court hearing.  These can vary from serious felony to minor misdemeanor charges, causing an incredible backlog of warrants to be built up in counties across Ohio; and

WHEREAS, while law enforcement works diligently to serve arrest warrants, thousands of warrants go unserved across Ohio. Major reform is needed to identify the truly dangerous and serious warrants; and

WHEREAS, the need to efficiently and effectively serve arrest warrants is a necessary component of the administration of justice and the safety and protection of Ohio citizens, the failure of which can lead to tragic results.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike DeWine, Governor of the State of Ohio, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this State do hereby order and direct that:

  1. The 2018 NICS working group set forth in Executive Order 2018-10K shall remain in place, but henceforth will be known as the Governor’s Warrant Task Force.  This group will continue to monitor the compliance of local and state agencies with the recommendations adopted in its 2018 report.  This group will continue to meet quarterly and is required to issue an annual report on its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.
  2. The Governor’s Warrant Task Force will study, discuss, and make recommendations to improve the current system of issuing and serving warrants in Ohio.  The Office of Criminal Justice Services is hereby ordered to assist the Governor’s Warrant Task Force in collecting data relating to the issuance and service of arrest warrants throughout the State of Ohio.  The chairperson of the Governor’s Warrant Task Force is authorized to appoint additional State, Local, or Federal personnel to the group as necessary.
  3. In studying, discussing, and making recommendations to improve the current system of issuing and serving warrants in Ohio, the Governor’s Warrant Task Force will focus on four areas relating to Ohio’s current system of issuing and serving warrants:
    1. The prioritization of warrants for serious offenders and threats to public safety;
    2. The substantial volume of outstanding warrants in Ohio;
    3. The mass issuance of warrants by courts across Ohio; and
    4. Best practices for serving outstanding warrants.
  4.  In examining the current process, best practices, and areas of improvement in issuing warrants, the Governor’s Warrant Task Force will make legislative, procedural, and technological recommendations to improve Ohio’s System of issuing and serving warrants.  No later than June 3, 2019 the Oho Warrant Task Force will deliver its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

I signed this Executive Order on February 13, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio and it will not expire unless it is rescinded.

 

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Mike DeWine, Governor

 

ATTEST:

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Frank LaRose, Secretary of State