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Ohio, UC Creating Enhanced Police Database

From left, Madeira Police Chief David Schaefer, UC's Ed Latessa, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sign a data sharing agreement.
Tana Weingartner
From left, Madeira Police Chief David Schaefer, UC's Ed Latessa, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sign a data sharing agreement.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is rolling out his 12-point Recovery Ohio plan in Cincinnati. It's aimed at tackling the opioid epidemic, but it will have larger law enforcement benefits.

The state is connecting the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway - an information network that allows agencies to share data - with the University of Cincinnati's data analytics system.

"UC's system will also allow jurisdictions to use this data for in-depth analysis and crime prediction and prevention," DeWine says.

As WVXU reported in October, UC's program is helping heroin quick response teams target likely overdose patients before they overdose.

Police agencies around Ohio use various programs to collect data and crime information, and they're not all linked. That makes policing more difficult for smaller agencies like the Madeira Police Department which is the first agency in the state to join this pilot program.

"A lot of times smaller agencies don't have the capability of taking personnel and the man-hours that it takes to do the actual analytical part [or] the research to map the trends and map the areas that need special attention," Chief David Schaefer says.

Unlike what you see on TV, all Ohio law enforcement agencies aren't linked into one central criminal information database either.

"We wanted to jump on board," Schaefer says, "because we're really interested in sharing out data, but not only our data, being able to obtain or access data from larger agencies that surround our communities."

He adds, "It gives us the ability to use everybody's data to solve our crimes more quickly which reduces the amount of hours and investigative work we might have to do."

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.