The Ohio Task Force Commanders Association exists and operates as a unified body representing Ohio’s multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task forces.  The law enforcement professionals who make up its membership include representatives from local, state, and federal agencies who collaborate and share resources to combat drug trafficking, substance use, and its associated criminal activity.

The association which was created in 1997 has grown to represent some forty-five task forces across Ohio.  Many of the member task forces are solely funded through state and federal grants administered through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  In 2006 the then twenty-seven task forces came together to assist Ohio Law makers in passing legislation which dedicated a small portion of fines for all moving violations in the state of Ohio to a special fund (Drug Law Enforcement Fund) which helps fund these multijurisdictional collaborations.

To promote greater professionalism and continuity within these operations the association in cooperation with OCJS developed a “Best Practices guideline for task force operations which was released in 2021.  Since that time Ohio’s drug task forces continue to innovate and lead the nation in the development of new programs and initiatives aimed at not only enforcing controlled substance statutes but providing meaningful pathways to available treatment and recovery options for those with substance use disorders.

Ohio’s role in in pre-arrest deflection and diversion programs has been historic with our member task forces not only championing these new initiatives but leading the way.  Currently nearly twenty-member task forces have incorporated some version of a deflection/diversion program into their more traditional enforcement roles.  Three of these task forces have imbedded civilian peer supports/peer recovery coaches into their operations, something that one senior US Department of Justice official called “The model for drug enforcement across the United States.”

Although faced with many challenges Ohio’s drug task forces will continue to work tirelessly to protect the citizens and communities they serve while holding themselves to the highest legal, ethical, professional, and moral standards.