Departments seek qualified law enforcement officers


BOTKINS — The need for law enforcement officers in Shelby County was one of the topics discussed during Tuesday’s Governor’s Community Traffic Safety Network of Shelby County. The meeting was held at the Botkins Police Department.

Both Sidney Police Chief Will Balling and Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass said their departments for looking for additional officers. Balling said he wants to hire to officers. Glass said one of his officers left for the Ohio Highway Patrol. Promotions were made from the reserve department and now there’s a vacancy there.

Sgt. Mark Jordan, Botkins Police Department, said he has trained 10-12 officers during his time with the department. Many of them have left for full time positions with other departments. He said the Botkins Police Department provides good training for new officers.

Balling also reported Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is putting the front license plate requirement back into law. He said legislation could be introduced stating the plate is required. The Ohio Associations of Police Chiefs have stated they want the front license plate to remain on cars as it makes enforcement laws and finding vehicles much easier.

Balling presented his year-end report of statistics for his department for 2019.

The city investigated 519 crashes, down from 535 crashes in 2018.

“Our goal is to get under 500 crashes in a year,” said Balling.

There were 1,596 citations issued and 66 operating a vehicle while under the influence arrests.

He also discussed crashes by severity in the city, crashes by day and by the hour. The most crashes were on Friday with 121.

The intersection with the most crashes in 2019 was at Michigan Street and Vandemark Road with 24. Michigan Street at Wayfarer Lane and Folkerth Avenue recorded 16 crashes as did Court Street at Ohio Avenue.

The department had 33,894 calls for service in 2019, more than 2,000 more than in 2018.

The department had 4,497 traffic stops, 2,112 miscellaneous calls, 1,089 reports of suspicious vehicles or subjects, 859 check welfare calls, 838 special detail calls and 753 animal calls.

Glass said the Botkins Department handled 1,208 calls for service in 2019 and had one fatality within the village limits. They issued 100 citations.

Sidney Fire Chief Brad Jones reported on fourth quarter statistics for his department.

Firefighters responded to 1,082 calls for service, and for the year responded to 4,200 calls.

“This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve had more than 4,000 calls for service,” said Jones. “I don’t see the volume of calls decreasing.”

They responded to 742 EMS calls, which excluded vehicle crashes with injuries. There were 22 motor vehicle crashes with injuries calls, 19 crashes with no injuries and one extraction of a victim from a vehicle. There was one pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle.

ODOT officials reported construction season is over until spring and summer with the exception of a project in Sidney on Park Street, which will be completed in March.

The group’s next meeting will be April 12, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. with a location to be named at a later date.

“The secret word for today is flowers.”

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

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