On May 31, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and members of the Ohio Governor’s Warrant Task Force released a report outlining more than a dozen recommendations for improving Ohio’s system of issuing, prioritizing, and serving arrest warrants throughout the state.
Governor DeWine created the task force in February 2019 in response to Ohio’s estimated accumulation of at least 500,000 unserved warrants.
Throughout the course of their research, task force members identified more than two dozen Tier I offenses that they recommend law enforcement officers prioritize when seeking wanted suspects. These crimes include offenses of violence as defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 2901.01(A)(9), other felony offenses that pose a substantial risk to public or officer safety, and the offense of misdemeanor domestic violence.
The group also recommended that authorities be required to enter warrants for Tier I offenses into Ohio’s Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) within 48 hours of the warrant being issued. Currently, law enforcement officers are not required to enter any warrants into either of these information-sharing systems, creating an unnecessary risk to public safety.
The task force issued several additional recommendations related to the timely service of warrants; the reduction of outstanding bench warrants; funding for the transport of suspects arrested on Tier I warrants; funding for enhanced involvement of local law enforcement in fugitive apprehension teams; and updated training on LEADS and NCIC warrant entry.
The task force also recommended that Ohio commit to the development of an electronic warrant system that allows for warrants to be issued, processed, stored, and served within a single statewide database.
Funded by InnovateOhio, Ohio's eWarrants system is available for law enforcement, advocates, judges, and clerks to support eWarrants and protection orders. This system fulfills Governor DeWine's vision for a statewide electronic warrants (eWarrants) system that is "free, easy, and mandatory."
Ohio's uniform, statewide electronic warrant and protection order system improves the thoroughness, accuracy, and timeliness of submissions to the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).