FFRF has ensured the Columbus Division of Police (CDP) will no longer request department employees attend religious worship services. A concerned employee of the Ohio police department contacted FFRF to report that Deputy Chief Michael Woods emailed all CDP personnel requesting that CDP employees attend a religious worship service at St. Paul’s Church scheduled to take place on June 24. The email said, “As a sign of our appreciation please join our Central Ohio law enforcement family at the June 24, 10:30 Mass.” The email also requested a “strong showing of uniformed officers and a full collection plate.”
FFRF Legal Fellow Christopher Line wrote to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein about the constitutional violation. On July 5, Jeff Furbee, legal counsel for the CPD, called FFRF to confirm that CDP chief sent out a clarifying email letting employees know that the church service is a strictly off-duty event, and that attendance was not required.