He opened with a reminder that state government is now changing with the new governor coming in. The cost to run the Highway Patrol is constantly changing and will likely feel the impact of the pending changes. Their jurisdiction is solely on roads that can be traveled but never inside private property unless their help is requested by the police. Randy shared some common misconceptions about the Highway Patrol such as they don't just write tickets, sleep in the median or merely fill quotas...they have no quota for tickets.
Formed in 1933 to govern and enforce motor vehicle registration laws they've grown to also handle all issues related to motor vehicles. Randy shared with us that the main mission of the Highway Patrol is to reduce traffic related deaths. The division headquarters is in Columbus and throughout Ohio there are 88 counties, 10 districts and 56 patrol posts. The Wilmington District has 6 patrol posts...Hamilton, Xenia, Wilmington, Lebanon, Georgetown and Batavia. The patrol is feverishly working on recruitment because currently there are less than 1500 troopers in the state. They are in need of around 140 more troopers and are losing many simply because of retirement. Randy pointed out that they have been unable to find 90 qualified people for their class out of thousands tested. The patrol has a program called “Lifestat 24/7” which is designed to maximize manpower coverage during our high crash times at locations that historically have high crash problems.
The Batavia post, located in one of the busiest counties in the state, has access to 2 dogs, both sniff for drugs and 1 will chase down suspects. They have their own motor vehicle inspection unit for buses and other vehicles. In addition they even have their own video production unit for public service announcements. Staff at the Batavia post includes 1 Post commander, 4 sergeants, 17 troopers, 10 dispatchers, 2 civilian employees (a secretary and part-time maintenance person), 2 driver exam units, 2 commercial inspectors and 2 school bus inspectors. 7 units start at 6am, 1 unit starts at 6pm and 5 units start at 10pm. Each shift is covered by at least 2 dispatchers who cover multiple districts. Traffic related deaths under the Batavia Post are 2005-23, 2006-17, 2007-11, 2008-27, 2009-9, YTD 2010-16.
Randy shared the following interesting facets of The Ohio Highway Patrol:
-They protect our governor and work with the protection details of dignitaries who come to our state.
-There are 2 uniform officers who speak on behalf of their division.
-There are 3 special response teams who help with things like security at the OSU Buckeye games, serve warrants, help out much around the Columbus area, etc.
-There is a crime lab which has the best technology but not enough people to run it. Turn around time is very long unless it is a high profile case.
-The records and information unit to call up any historical information you could imagine related to motor vehicle traffic. This helps them establish schedules for coverage on the road.
-The aviation section has 15 pilots and several helicopters and planes and often they will work the 32/275 area catching folks in speed zones or people running stop signs as well as helping with searches and chases.
-There is a motorcycle section which generally runs April through November which uses lasers to write many tickets in a very efficient manner. They have been extremely helpful in construction zones.
-They handle the Drivers License Services section.
-They have a commercial motor carrier section to inspect a commercial vehicle without any kind of probable cause.
-There is a Crash Reconstruction Section to work crash sites which is on call 24/7. The Aircraft Crash Investigation Section handles crashes at the Clermont Airport, Lunken, and any other non-military crashes.
Randy encouraged us to contact him with any concerns or suggestions.
Our speaker next week is: Patsy Baughn of The Cincinnati Association of the Blind.