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Ohio Department of Public Safety Director's Office

John Born

Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety


John Born was appointed director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS) in 2013 by Governor John R. Kasich. He previously served as Colonel and superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol capping a 26-year law enforcement career. As Patrol Superintendent, his reprioritization of the Patrol's focus elevated criminal patrol to the same mission level as highway safety and led to a record interdiction of over $147 million in drugs and contraband in just three years. To streamline operations, he directed the merging of homeland security, intelligence, and communications through the creation of the Hub; a center staffed 24/7/365 by Patrol commanders, intelligence analysts and communications staff. 

Through safety, service and protection, the nearly 4,000 DPS employees are dedicated to the mission of contributing to a safer Ohio through its six divisions: the Ohio State Highway Patrol; Bureau of Motor Vehicles; Homeland Security; Emergency Management Agency; Emergency Medical Services; and Office of Criminal Justice Services. 

In 2013, the Department implemented the Safer Ohio Initiative which contributed to record low numbers of traffic crash fatalities and the fewest number of alcohol-impaired crash deaths in Ohio while criminal interdiction increased to record levels. That year, Ohio led the United States in the greatest reduction in traffic crash deaths.

The Safer Ohio Initiative also incorporates a comprehensive strategy of emergency preparedness. For the first time in Ohio history, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency is now providing 24/7/365 support and operational staffing through an integrated intelligence approach. Consolidated departmental resources have also allowed additional investments in intelligence analytic services for law enforcement, homeland security and first responders. 

Additional components include the development and training of Safe Ohio Teams, training and equipping of Emergency Resource Teams, certification and deployment of state employees to serve the American Red Cross, purchase and prepositioning of key emergency equipment and services, development of new private and public sector partnerships, improving security and hardening of key infrastructure, and developing additional technological applications to leverage public participation.

Director Born helped develop key elements of Governor Kasich’s Safer Schools Initiative including integrating Ohio Homeland Security threat assessment and safety plan reviews while also deploying explosive-detection canines for the first time to Ohio’s state universities. A new Threat Assessment and Prevention Unit (TAP) is staffed with analysts who completed U.S. Secret Service and FBI threat assessment training and are now integrated into school safety, workplace violence prevention and business safety efforts. Most recently, DPS developed active aggressor response training and a statewide policy for Ohio's 55,000 state employees.

An investment in training has been bolstered with the integration of an undergraduate level public safety leadership course conducted by The Ohio State University and a graduate level multi-year course operated by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Training for both programs is now conducted at the new leadership wing at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. Ohio now also leads the nation in first responders trained in the Traffic Incident Management safety program and the number of certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers have increased to take Ohio from one of the lowest DRE officer trained states to one of the states with among the most.

Cost reductions, such as the transition of the last state operated BMV Customer Service Center in Columbus to a private sector operation has led to a $1 million annual cost efficiency while also creating private sector jobs and increasing public service to six days per week. 

Director Born holds Bachelor of Science in journalism and Master of Social Science in deviant behavior degrees from Ohio University. He completed the FBI’s National Executive Institute, governance training at Harvard Business School and leadership training at the United States Army War College.

He served as co-chair of Ohio’s Task Force on Community and Police Relations which led to his current role as co-chair of the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board. He currently serves as the designated Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Kasich, led the State's coordinated efforts as a member of the National Special Security Event Executive Steering Committee for the Cleveland Republican National Convention; co-chairs the State Emergency Response Commission; serves on the Ohio Supreme Court’s regional judicial opioid initiative; chaired an international law enforcement officer safety effort; served as chairman of Ohio’s law enforcement computer network; and has served as Chairman of the Board of one of Ohio’s five state pension systems.

He has earned the United States Department of Homeland Security Partnership Award, the United States Secret Service Director’s Honor Award, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police J. Stannard Baker award.

He and his wife have two grown children. 

  Director, John Born