Personnel files reveal more of indicted officer's background

Ray Tensing (FOX19 NOW File)
Ray Tensing (FOX19 NOW File)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On the day ex-University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing made his first court appearance facing charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter after the shooting death of Sam DuBose, FOX19 NOW has obtained personnel files for Tensing from his prior law enforcement employment. 
Prior to UC, Tensing spent about three months working as a "reserve police officer" in Colerain Township, as well as a stint in Greenhills and he has been part of the Hamilton County Sheriff's explorer program.

"He worked on and off.  He started out as a part-time officer, went full-time in 2013.  He went back to part-time in 2014 when he was hired by the University of Cincinnati," Greenhills Police Chief Neil Ferdelman said earlier this week of Tensing's employment there.

In 2011 during a review by Greenhills police, Tensing said he liked to ride dirt bikes and go target shooting at his grandfather's Kentucky farm.  He also said he likes to lift weights and run.  He told reviewers that public service runs in the family in the sense that his father was a firefighter and his brother was in the Air Force. 
When asked how he would react to feelings of fear and danger, he responded with, "Would not panic–Keep officer safety first." 
In that same 17-question review with several different superiors, Tensing was asked a series of questions pertaining to use of force. 
One question asked,  "Have you seriously considered the possibility of having to shoot another person?"

In one review, Tensing answered, "Yes. Unfortunate, but part of the job.  Would do it if justified."

In a second review, he answered, "Yes. Part of the job. Wouldn't have a problem." 
The very next question asked, "Could you take someone's life who is not threatening you personally?" Tensing answered, "Yes. Threatening another with serious physical harm or death."

"Ray just was just, at least by his supervisor's judgement, was an average officer," Ferdelman said.

During field training, Tensing's Greenhills supervisors said he had a "very good attitude towards police work," "not overconfident," and "makes good decisions on traffic stops and utilizes discretion," among other comments during that time. 
In January 2012, Tensing made a traffic stop where he says he was injured.  The reason for the stop is unclear.  A witness statement says that the suspect in the stop was at the side of his car when that person "started hitting officer and trying to get away."

That witness goes on to say that while trying to help the officer, the "suspect continued to fight officer told him to stop or he would get tazed.  Suspect continued to fight so officer tazed him and took him into custody."

Tensing filed a report saying that he had "bruising/laceration" and was provided first aid at the scene. 
There appear to be no other mentions in the personnel files from Colerain Township or Greenhills.

"Would you be able to pinpoint or finger point a time that Ray Tensing had to draw his weapon or use his weapon as part of the Greenhills department," 
FOX19 NOW asked of Chief Neil Ferdelman on Tuesday.

"No.  I didn't see anything like that, and I'm not aware of any of those instances," he replied. 
Also included in the hundreds of pages of documents is a psychological evaluation Tensing underwent prior to employment with the department in Greenhills.  That evaluation found Tensing to have strengths in the following:

  • is emotionally stable, copes well with stress
  • has a practical and direct approach to problem solving
  • has good use of force judgment
  • is well aware of his own strengths and limitations
  • has good ethical judgment
  • has good impulse control

As it pertains to use of force, the evaluator said, "Mr. Tensing's response to threatening scenarios agreed with experienced and highly trained officers in 89% of cases.  This reflects very sound use of force judgment.  Mr. Tensing correctly recognized all situations where deadly force would be justified and necessary." 
Tensing was deemed psychologically qualified for the job, scoring a 74 on the evaluation, placing him in a category as an "average applicant."  If he scored at 69 or below, he would have scored as "does not meet job requirements."

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