Progressive  Policing

The Oberlin Police Department’s participates in a multitude of progressive policing policies


The Oberlin Police Department utilizes Lexipol to assist in the development of departmental policies, including Use of Force policies, as well as to train department personnel on policies. Lexipol is a nation-wide service with the primary mission of providing law enforcement agencies with direction through constitutionally sound policies, training, and information.  Lexipol continually researches and improves their policies based on a culmination of best practices, which will then be added to the department policies as necessary.

Department personnel are required to complete regular trainings on department policy through Lexipol to ensure a working knowledge of department policy, including any policy updates. In addition to policy training, Police Department personnel receive training on Bias Based Policing, De-Escalation, Mental Health Crises, Use of Force and a variety of other areas.  The Oberlin Police Department spends over $30,000 annually for continued education and training, and ensures that officers maintain State Mandates and Certifications.

Click HERE to learn more about Lexipol’s policy positions in the areas of de-escalation, use of force, carotid restraint and more.


Body Cameras

In 2014, the Oberlin Police Department became the first police department in Lorain County to issue body cameras to each on-duty officer in the department.  The body cams offer video evidence of police interactions, but also provide a critical sense of security and transparency to the public.  Studies have shown that the use of body cameras often raises the level of accountability and can reduce instances of use of force.

Oberlin Patrol Officers are required to utilize body cameras on all calls and the video recordings are downloaded to a secure server and maintained according to applicable laws.  The recordings have limited access and security measures in place to prevent deletion or tampering with the video evidence.  Any video released as a public record will be altered to account for any legally protected privacy concerns, but the original footage is not compromised.

For questions or concerns related to body cameras, please contact Lieutenant Mike McCloskey at 440-774-1061 or


Ohio Collaborative

In 2014, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an executive order that established the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations, who provided recommendations to the governor regarding community-police relations.  One of the recommendations, which was enacted in 2015, was the establishment of the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board (Ohio Collaborative) that was charged with overseeing the implementation of recommendations from the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations.  The Ohio Collaborative established state standards for police agencies regarding department policy and procedures, including use of force, employee recruitment and hiring, etc.  These standards are designed to promote accountability and instill a greater confidence with the public.

In 2017, the Oberlin Police Department became one of the first agencies in Lorain County to receive certification through the Ohio Collaborative for adopting and implementing the state standards in an effort to strengthen police and community relations.  OPD has worked to annually renew their certification with the Ohio Collaborative.

For general information on the Ohio Collaborative, click HERE.  For information related to the Oberlin Police Department’s Ohio Collaborative certification, please contact Lieutenant Mike McCloskey at 440-774-1061 or



Full-time Patrol Officers are deemed Classified-Competitive by the Oberlin Civil Service Commission and according to City Charter.  This means that when a vacancy arises, practical testing will be conducted to establish an eligibility list of candidates for the Patrol Officer position.  The test consists of two parts: a physical agility exam and a written exam.  The physical agility test utilizes the same standards that need to be met for successful completion of the Police Academy and the written exam gauges the candidate’s basic ability to learn and apply information, observe and remember details, follow directions and the ability to use sound judgement and logic.  Candidates must pass both the physical agility test and written exam to be included on the eligibility list.

When a vacancy for a Patrol Officer occurs and a Civil Service Exam has been scheduled, the Police Department Administration works with the Human Resources Department to advertise for the position.  The announcement is posted in 35+ identified venues to promote a diverse pool of candidates, including the City’s website, local newspapers, social media, Ohio Means Jobs, and local churches, schools, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, etc.

Once the eligibility list is established from the 10 top-scoring candidates, interviews will be conducted where candidates’ experience, integrity, use of discretion, problem solving abilities and community relations experience will be assessed.  When a candidate is chosen, they will undergo an extensive psychological examination conducted by a licensed psychologist specializing in evaluating safety service personnel, as well as pre-employment drug screening, medical examination, and polygraph testing.  The candidate will also go through an extensive background investigation that includes any criminal background, educational experience, employment history, financial background, social media presence, in addition to contacting friends, family, neighbors, etc.  The Oberlin Police Department has adopted these pre-employment practices to help ensure that those hired to be Oberlin Patrol Officers are professionals with high moral character who will be assets to both the Oberlin community and the department.


Project DAWN

Project Dawn (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) is a network of Ohio-based drug-overdose education and Naloxone distribution program.  In 2012, the Oberlin Police Department participated in the pilot-program of Project DAWN in Lorain County.  In an effort to help combat the opioid crisis in Ohio, officers received Narcan (naloxone) kits as well as training on recognizing the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose and how to administer Narcan.  Narcan is a nasal spray that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

Since participating in the pilot-program, Oberlin Police Department personnel have saved countless lives in the Oberlin community through the Narcan program.

Click HERE for more information on Project DAWN.

Department Annual Reports

The Oberlin Police Department prepares reports annually that provide statistical information related to crime, arrests, accidents, citations, use of force, etc., as well as information related to department services and programs, personnel training and accommodations, and other department activities.

If you have questions or would like to discuss any part of these reports, please contact Lieutenant Mike McCloskey at 440-774-1061 or