Give first responders more tools

Ohio law enforcement officers have a lot to keep track of, in doing their jobs to keep the rest of us safe.

But there are tools available to them — and another being added — that give them an edge in responding to potentially dangerous situations or dealing with suspects.

Sierah’s Law will require specific violent offenders — those who have been convicted of aggravated or attempted aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping or second-degree felony abduction must now be part of a registry for ten years after release from prison, and must report any changes of address.

Those who have been convicted elsewhere but move into the Buckeye State must also register.

There are already databases for sex offenders, arsonists and those determined by the courts to be violent but who have been adjudicated as being mentally unstable.

Regarding the well-established sex offender registry, Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said “We check compliance all the time. They have to tell us if they move, and we have a couple people who go out and make checks on them twice a month.

“It’s been a great resource for us.”

Lawmakers have done their best to reduce the potential privacy risks to those on the registries by making them available only to law enforcement and the courts, but they must continue to be vigilant on that point.

Assuming they are able to avoid violating the rights of those who might be placed on the registries, lawmakers must continue to seek ways to give law enforcement and other responders as many such tools as they can to do their jobs safely and effectively.