UC Police complete voluntary monitoring in light of Sam DuBose shooting

UC Police complete voluntary monitoring in light of Sam DuBose shooting
FOX19 NOW/file

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OH (FOX19) - The University of Cincinnati Police Division announced Wednesday it’s finished a voluntary monitoring program as a result of the fatal shoting of Samuel DuBose.

“I am so proud of our agency," said UC Public Safety Director James Whalen.

"The implementation of all recommendations from the review, while also undertaking a voluntary monitorship, is a significant accomplishment that will benefit the UCPD and the entire Cincinnati community for years to come.”

Ray Tensing, 29, a UCPD officer, shot and killed DuBose during a traffic stop just off campus on July 19, 2015.

Sam DuBose (Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer)
Sam DuBose (Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer)

A federal review into the shooting is still ongoing, nearly two years after the second of two trials against the now-former officer charged with killing DuBose, 43, ended with deadlocked jurors and a mistrial.

It’s not clear when the federal review will wrap up or whether Tensing will face civil rights charges.

UC fired Tensing shortly after the shooting, and the university paid $5.3 million in a settlement to DuBose’s family. UC also paid more than $350,000 in back pay, benefits and legal fees to Tensing.

Ray Tensing with his attorney, Stew Mathews. (Cincinnati Enquirer/file)
Ray Tensing with his attorney, Stew Mathews. (Cincinnati Enquirer/file)

The university brought in Exiger, a nationally renowned integrity assurance firm with decades of experience in independent monitoring in the criminal justice sector, to oversee reform efforts of the police department began Jan 1, 2016.

In Exiger’s “Final Report Following Comprehensive Review of the University of Cincinnati Police Division,” the firm put forth 276 recommendations, all of which the UCPD has successfully implemented, UC officials said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

“UCPD should be proud that they are leading the way in police reform by voluntarily engaging in this process which included community input and participation; established and achieved clear goals and expectations; and established a community review board, the Community Compliance Council, to ensure continued transparency and responsiveness, said Chief (Ret.) Roberto A. Villasenor, who served as Independent Monitor for the UCPD.

“They are one of the few departments in the country that have actually turned a tragedy into a true effort of transformation. The University and all of Cincinnati should be proud of their efforts.”

The university received and accepted Exiger’s final report on the monitorship of the UCPD on March 7, following a presentation by Exiger to the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Exiger also presented their final report to the Community Compliance Council, formerly the Community Advisory Council.

The Council, originally established in October 2015, has now transitioned their focus from advisory to ensuring the UCPD maintains compliance with its revised policies and best practices in the field.

The CCC is chaired by Judge John A. West, who also serves as Special Advisor to UC President Neville Pinto on campus safety and community relations.

Other representatives of this group include: UC students, faculty, staff and alumni; neighborhood community groups; civic, faith and business leaders; and law enforcement officials.

For more about the CCC, including a list of members, please go to www.uc.edu/about/publicsafety/reform/cac.

University of Cincinnati provides updates in 2017 on efforts to improve campus safety and reforms in light of the fatal police-involved shooting of Sam DuBose. (FOX19 NOW/file)
University of Cincinnati provides updates in 2017 on efforts to improve campus safety and reforms in light of the fatal police-involved shooting of Sam DuBose. (FOX19 NOW/file)

Some noteworthy accomplishments by the UCPD include the creation of new policies and training consistent with best practices in many areas, including: use of force, bias free policing, citizen complaint investigation, mental health response, and the implementation of an early warning system to track and act upon key indicators of at-risk officer behavior.

UCPD also recently hired a diverse group of nine new police officers based on a revised Recruitment and Hiring Plan.

In addition, the division made advancements in equipment and technology, reintroducing Conductive Electrical Weapon/Tasers as a less lethal force option for officers and installing in-car video cameras.

To read Exiger’s final report, go to www.uc.edu/about/publicsafety/reform.

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