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2018 Comprehensive Safety Winner
The Sidney (OH) Police Department is made up of 38 sworn officers and 14 civilian personnel serving a population of 21,000.
The department was a finalist in 2017 and made improvements on their safety initiative to become a winner in 2018. Every officer in the department has been issued a quick response tourniquet, trauma care kit, and enhanced ballistic protection. The department invested in magnetic microphone holders for every vehicle, after learning about the idea from another Destination Zero award winner. Each vehicle also has a rapid response bag containing extra ammunition, blood pressure bandages, quick clot agents, and tactical response gear. Every officer in the department was issued a body worn camera and trained on how to use it.
The department has implemented a mandatory seatbelt policy and reduced the use of cell phones and in-car computers while the vehicle is in motion. Dash cameras in the vehicles are programmed to begin recording once the vehicle reaches a speed of 80mph or higher. Driver training is provided to all officers, both for high-speed and low-speed conditions to better understand their abilities and how to handle the patrol car in various situations. The Sidney Police Department did not have any injuries resulting from officer-involved collisions.
The department created a spousal support program to open communication with an officer’s family from the time they start with the department. The spouses of current officers have volunteered as support peers for the new officers’ spouses. The Chief of Police sits down with each new officer to discuss their future and the pitfalls of a law enforcement profession. Every officer is paid to attend a health and wellness seminar that focuses on financial wellness, nutrition, tactical medicine and mental wellbeing. All officers attend an eight-hour block of training on trauma-informed policing, participate in a mandatory fitness program, and are introduced to a mental health wellness checkup program in conjunction with a private counseling center.