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Prior to his appointment to Superintendent in January 2011, Colonel John Born, a 26-year veteran of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, served as a field operations commander for the eastern half of Ohio, overseeing all operations from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. In the first year following his appointment, 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. His 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.
Col. Born implemented significant organizational changes merging homeland security, intelligence, and communications through the creation of the Hub staffed 24/7/365 by Patrol commanders, intelligence analysts, and communication staff. A number of additional officers were also moved from General Headquarters into operational roles, the Senior Advisors Group was created to broaden field commander input into key decisions, Metro Patrol Posts were established and more drug dogs were assigned to new locations throughout Ohio.
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. Maximizing law enforcement collaboration, more troopers are now assigned to federal and local task forces than ever before in the Patrol’s history. The Ohio Traffic Safety Office was merged under Patrol oversight to better coordinate federally funded traffic safety efforts and partnerships.
Personnel shortages began to be repaired after graduating the 150th, 151st, 152nd, 153rd and 154th Academy Classes. In two years, the Patrol selected, hired and trained nearly 300 new troopers to repair serious personnel shortages, while operating on a budget that had remained the same since 2007. In addition, cadet class training was cut from 30 weeks to 22 weeks saving more than $580,000 through a more efficient scheduling of cadet time. An innovative statewide computer model - TEV (time efficiency value) - was also established to better measure and balance road troopers’ obligated and unobligated time.
The first major statewide organizational field re-structuring since 1953 was completed and reduced the number of Patrol Districts from 10 to eight and dispatching operations and locations were significantly consolidated through a statewide strategy. Vehicle theft and fraud units were established and a crash reconstruction organizational structure was re-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.
After graduation from the Patrol Academy, Col. Born served at the 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. Col. Born currently serves on the IACP Highway Safety Committee, as chair of the IACP Traffic Officer Safety subcommittee, and as chair of the IACP North Central Committee. He also serves on a combating domestic terrorism national advisory committee, as the vice chair of the HIDTA 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 has also successfully 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.