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Republicans are urging communities and their safety forces to interact more

Rep. Haraz Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg, center) talks about ride-alongs at a press conference with several Republican House colleagues, including Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester) and Phil Plummer (R-Butler Township)
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Haraz Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg, center) talks about ride-alongs at a press conference with several Republican House colleagues, including Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester) and Phil Plummer (R-Butler Township). Baldridge is a firefighter/paramedic in his district, and Plummer was the Montgomery County Sheriff from 2008 to 2018.

Ohio House Democrats say more community interaction could mean fewer clashes with police and other safety forces in the long run.

Some Republican lawmakers are urging communities and members of their safety forces to come together to better understand each other.

Republican Rep. Haraz Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) wants community leaders to ride along with police, have coffee with cops and go through local citizen police academies. He says he’s doing that with his kids.

“When they want to talk about superheroes, we don’t turn on some afternoon cartoon. We hop into the car and go to the local fire station. We go to the highway patrol post. We stop by and say hi to our sheriff,” Ghanbari says.

Ghanbari says $10 million in the new state budget for body cameras can help too. But a Democrat-backed bill to require body cameras for all officers has had no hearings. And some activists have raised concerns about body cameras being used for surveillance, not accountability.