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Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety
John Born was appointed director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety on July 31, 2013, by Governor John R. Kasich. He previously served as superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
In the year following his appointment as Patrol superintendent, Ohio recorded its fewest number of traffic fatalities ever, in part due to an increase in impaired driving arrests and a decrease in impaired driving crash deaths. Director Born's related reprioritization of the Patrol's focus also elevated criminal patrol, looking beyond the traffic stop, to the same mission level as highway safety and led to a record interdiction of over $117 million in drugs and contraband in just two years.
Director Born also implemented significant changes to the Patrol's organizational structure. To streamline operations, he directed the merging of homeland security, intelligence, and communications through the creation of the Hub, a communications center staffed 24/7/365 by Patrol commanders, intelligence analysts, and communications staff. In addition, a number of officers were moved from general headquarters into operational roles, a senior advisors group was created to broaden field commander input into key decisions, metro patrol posts were established in Ohio’s most-populous counties, and more drug-detecting canines were assigned to new locations throughout the state.
Under Director Born, the Patrol’s law enforcement partnerships were dramatically strengthened through “Shield” details where troopers and local law enforcement officers work together to reduce crashes, target criminal activity and wanted felons, and improve the quality of life for citizens. Maximizing law enforcement collaboration, more troopers were assigned to federal and local task forces than ever before in the Patrol’s history. In addition, the Ohio Traffic Safety Office was merged under Patrol oversight to better coordinate federally-funded traffic safety efforts and partnerships.
Personnel shortages were repaired with the graduation of five cadet classes. In two years, the Patrol selected, hired and trained nearly 300 new troopers while operating on a budget that had remained the same since 2007. Cadet training was cut from 30 weeks to 22 weeks, saving more than $580,000 through more efficient scheduling of cadet time. An innovative statewide computer model, TEV (time efficiency value), also was established to better measure and balance road troopers’ obligated and unobligated time.
Director Born also ordered the Patrol’s first major statewide field re-structuring since 1953, reducing the number of Patrol districts from 10 to eight. Dispatching operations and locations also were significantly consolidated through a statewide strategy and vehicle theft and fraud units were established. The Ohio Investigative Unit was merged with the Patrol’s Office of Criminal Investigations and has led to Ohio’s leadership role in trace-back investigations of alcohol violations which may have contributed to alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
Prior to his appointment to superintendent, Director Born served as the Patrol’s field operations commander for the eastern half of Ohio, overseeing all operations from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. After his graduation from the Patrol Academy, he served at the Patrol’s Athens Post as a road trooper, earning District Trooper of the Year and twice Post Trooper of the Year honors. In 1999, he was awarded the prestigious J. Stannard Baker award of excellence in highway safety from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for developing the Patrol’s Partners for Safety program.
Director Born currently serves on the IACP Highway Safety Committee, and previously served as chair of the IACP Traffic Officer Safety subcommittee, and as chair of the IACP North Central Committee. He also served on a combating domestic terrorism national advisory committee, as the vice chair of the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas) Executive Board, as the first vice-chair of Operation Lifesaver, as chairman of one of the state’s five pension boards, chairman of LEADS (Ohio’s state law enforcement computer network), and as a commissioner on the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.
He holds Bachelor of Science in journalism and Master of Social Science in deviant behavior degrees from Ohio University. He also completed the FBI’s National Executive Institute, governance training at Harvard Business School, and leadership training at the United States Army War College. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown children