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Ohio private police exempt from records law

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - There are more than 800 privately employed Ohio police officers who carry guns, use deadly force, and have the authority to search, detain, and arrest people.

And under state law, they're all allowed to keep their records secret, even from crime victims.

A special report by The Columbus Dispatch found that the private police officers work for 39 employers made up of mostly private universities and hospitals.

They, like their employers, are exempt from the public-records laws that public-sector police agencies must follow.

Critics, including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, say it's time to demand the same accountability and transparency from private police officers.

DeWine tells the newspaper that he will ask state legislators to change Ohio law to make private police forces subject to public-records laws.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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