To highlight the horrible effects of a broken warrants system, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine talked about Jenny Blake.

Blake, a mother of three, was killed in 2011 by her abusive husband who was wanted on a warrant for domestic violence but wasn’t picked up by law enforcement.

DeWine briefly choked with emotion when told by a reporter that Blake’s mom is grateful that the governor is trying to fix the system.

"We must do everything we can from stopping tragedies like this from happening in the future," DeWine said. "This is a matter of life and death."

Five months after The Dispatch exposed major flaws in arrest warrants system, DeWine unveiled a plan Friday that would help protect the public from violent fugitives and limit warrants issued against those accused of minor offenses such as traffic tickets.

DeWine presented 15 recommendations that included introducing new legislation, implementing new policies within the law enforcement ranks and adopting new court rules through the Ohio Supreme Court.

"The research has shown that Ohio’s warrant system is fragmented, inconsistent, inefficient and technologically obsolete," DeWine read from the report. "Most importantly, Ohio’s system of serving and issuing warrants does not adequately protect the public, victims or law enforcement."

DeWine started addressing the issue shortly after The Dispatch published a series of stories in December that detailed how hundreds of thousands of warrants in Ohio were unserved. The newspaper found more than 5.7 million open arrest warrants in 27 states that provided data, including nearly 240,000 for violent crimes ranging from domestic violence to murder. The investigation found that warrants were overwhelming law enforcement and the court system.

Shortly after taking office in January, DeWine promised to reform the state’s warrant system and formed the 27-member Warrant Task Force committee, led by Andy Wilson, DeWine’s senior adviser on criminal justice policy. The committee met several times over the past three months and plans to meet quarterly to monitor the progress of the warrant reforms.

Under the task force’s plan, Ohio legislators would set a list of Tier 1 violent offenses, including murder, rape, robbery and domestic violence. Warrants issued for those offenses would have to be entered into a state and national database within 48 hours, and law-enforcement agencies would be required to pick up a Tier 1 fugitive arrested anywhere in the nation.

"My guess is that most Ohioans would think that that is occurring today," DeWine said. "Sadly, that is not occurring today and frankly that must be changed."

To pay for that, the task force is proposing that the state help reimburse local agencies for transporting fugitives. The task force also recommended stepping up state training for local agencies that enter warrants into the state’s database and expanding cooperation with the U.S. Marshal Service to serve backlogged warrants.

DeWine and the task force held up Kentucky’s statewide, web-based warrant database as an example of the kind of system Ohio should have. That system cost about $2 million when Kentucky started it in 2008. It contains all the state’s warrants. DeWine plans to speak with legislative leaders about funding for a statewide warrant database that the task force believes will save lives.

"It’s not cheap," DeWine said, "but, again if it’s your daughter that gets killed because the data is not in the system, you’re going to look at that and say, ‘We spend money on a lot of things. You’re not going to spend money to protect families from rapists and murderers and horrible people?’ It doesn’t make any sense."

The task force also proposed several steps to reduce the number of warrants for minor infractions such as traffic tickets. Judges usually issue such bench warrants after a defendant fails to appear in court.

The Dispatch reported last year that in one week, Franklin County judges issued more than 1,100 warrants, most of them bench warrants for failure to appear.

Most of the effort to stem the tide of bench warrants focuses on getting defendants into court so judges do not have to issue the warrant in the first place. The task force proposed redesigning traffic tickets and summons to make it clear that the defendant must either pay the fine or appear in court to answer the charge. Court appearance information would be at the top. Now, it’s tucked away at the bottom.

The state should also find alternatives short of arrest warrants to compel defendants to appear in court for minor offenses, the task force said. For example, a judge could block the issuance of state drivers, fishing, hunting or concealed carry licenses until the defendant appears in court.

DeWine’s plan was praised by several people who were featured in the Dispatch stories because they were victimized in the warrant system or who lost loved ones when a criminal suspect with a warrant wasn’t arrested.

"This will help save people’s lives and it’s long, long overdue," Annette Shamblin, Jenny Blakes mother, told the Dispatch in a phone interview. "This won’t bring my daughter back, but I don’t want other families to go through the nightmare we have gone through."

DeWine said it was important to include domestic violence among Tier 1 crimes to protect both victims and police officers from abusers.

"There’s incidence after incidence of abuse and for whatever reason nothing is going to happen," he said. "Then you see that the victim is dead. You can ask any police officer the type case where they’re concerned about their own safety, and I think in the top five they’re always going to put domestic violence cases."